How To Return to Real Life from Spring Break

As an avid wanderer, I find coming home to be the hardest part of the travel experience. It’s hard to come down from the clouds in wandering new parts of the world.

Unpacking is arguably as difficult as packing. That being said, I’ll briefly detail the routine of returning home and what I do to readjust to the reality of returning to reality and my familiar surroundings.

Unpacking

This starts with unpacking my suitcase and organizing the large suitcase hamper in my bedroom. This is something that I try to do sooner rather than later, with a combination of determination and patience. Depending on how late I get back, I will do it as soon as I return home. In the case of last night where I got back at midnight, I’ll get this done the following morning.

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I also unpack any foods and snacks that I brought with me. In this case, I was returning from a road trip to an AirBNB where I packed a large reusable grocery bag to the brim with food staples I knew I wouldn’t be able to easily find in Silver Springs, Maryland.

Laundry

After unpacking, I always try to do a bit of laundry. Since I knew I was going out for St. Patrick’s Day, there was certainly a need to put my jeans and a few other choice garments through the wash for going out with friends, and for work the in the morning.

Dishes

I have a tendency of eating a bunch of junk food when I’m back in the warm and familiar confines of my home. I make sure that once I’m done eating all the macaroni and cheese and Double-Stuf Oreos, that I’m washing up the full kitchen sink.

Communication

As a full-time student, part-time employee, blogger, and Instagram influencer, I have several messaging systems and email inboxes to tackle when I come back from holiday. During this prior week, I managed to stay caught up on emails and my online work. However, being back at my comfortable desk space provides me with a motivating environment to tackle, blog comments, Instagram comments and DMs, social media story updates, and all received mail, email and personal messages.

College Classes

As a full-time student, spring break isn’t always a time of rest in the academic world. With a lecture and lab exam, presentation, and quiz this following week, I have a lot to do on the return from a holiday. I take this weekend time to check my iPhone calendar to refresh myself on assignment due dates and organizing study time as needed.

Finances

I’ll take this time to assess my financial situation. For my recent week-long road trip, this entitles making sure my AirBNB payments went through correctly and my gas money and other related expenses are paid out to my friends. For the last two years, I’ve used Venmo on my phone to streamline this experience and avoid dealing in cash. Beyond payments, I’ll make sure to check my bank account and plan out my work hours and living costs for the following weeks through a Google Sheet to compensate for a week’s vacation.

Food Preparation

After coming back from a week where I had the option and ease of eating out in downtown D.C., I usually try to prepare a few staple items in bulk to have during the week. For me, my concept of meal preparation involves making up a pot of unsalted black or kidney beans, quinoa, or bulgur wheat for the week.

Exercise

When I come back from vacation, I feel a bit squishier than I did before. Holidays mean a splurge on amazing food. Whether it’s the day I return or the day after, I try to get back to the local gym in quick time to establish my old, but golden routine.

Gratitude

In the specific case of this trip, my friends and I are expressing our thanks in the form of a thoughtful card for our AirBNB hosts back in Silver Springs, Maryland. 

Personally, I could not have asked for a better atmosphere to stay in for my travels to D.C. this spring break. I stayed with a young family with a smiling toddler, two cats, two turtles, a fish, and a pig.

We left their house with treats and great memories. From feeding popcorn to their pig, , having a delicious meal cooked for me, sharing stories over a bonfire, trying raspberry beer, to seeing our hosts’ “Mystery House.” My friend and I even received homemade necklaces, and I went home with boxes of macaroni and cheese and “beef” jerky.

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This week was perfection, and expressing gratitude is more than necessary based on the kindness of our house mates.

Self-Care

Perhaps an important and overlooked aspect of the return. Even with academia and/or work looming, I take this time to catch up on sleep, take a walk, reconnect with friends, apply a face mask, listen to music, or make myself some healthy comfort food. It’s all about returning to reality after traveling in a positive way.

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