I’ve been away from my apartment for two weeks now. I don’t miss it.
Some people crave their own beds after being on holiday for just a few days, but I try to create a routine that allows me to feel at home even when I’m gone for long periods of time. It’s not an organized calendar of daily activities that keeps me sane, but instead, it’s daily comforts.
I need a morning coffee. Meeting new people can be tiring. Trying new foods can be unsettling. Working on new accounts can be confusing. Caffeine jumpstarts my brain and helps me adjust.
I need to stay active. Sweating once a day is even more important when I’m on the road. Thankfully, it’s also easier because I’m always on my feet exploring. However, I also bring my running shoes when I travel, and I set a goal for an intense workout at least once a week. It’s a low goal compared with my Seattle exercise schedule, but it’s much more realistic when I factor in the sightseeing and afterwork activities (and unexpected ankle injuries).
I need a hoodie. And I could kick myself for always forgetting this. I always rationalize that it will be too hot to wear one, and it’s the last thing I remove from my bag. The fact that I physically remove it EVERY TIME I go somewhere leads to pure frustration … and random lime/puke-green hoodie purchases.
I need a notebook. Yes, I have my computer and phone, but writing all the little details in a journal (as well as emotional rants and ravings) helps keep the travel experience alive. It feels more personal and raw than taking notes on my laptop, and I’m much faster with a pen and paper than I am with a mobile keyboard.
I need music. This is where my phone saves me. After a few weeks of peoplewatching and listening to the hum of strangers, I need to tune out and listen to something familiar, something upbeat, something thoughtful — something not Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber. Because HOW are these kids the universal voices blaring from stores and restaurants around the world?
*Title inspired by Garden State:
“You’ll see one day when you move out, it just sort of happens one day and it’s gone. You feel like you can never get it back. It’s like you feel homesick for a place that doesn’t even exist. Maybe it’s like this rite of passage, you know. You won’t ever have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it’s like a cycle or something. I don’t know, but I miss the idea of it, you know. Maybe that’s all family really is. A group of people that miss the same imaginary place.”