Keeping the Travel Mindset at Home

30 Mar

Oh hang on, we have parks and playgrounds too in Sydney. Doh. I could be doing this at home!?

It happens to me every time I travel. There will be a moment, normally a warm fuzzy moment with my son, something as simple as his laughing and splashing in a foreign bath, or giggling in a grocery store, and I think, “Really, there is no reason we couldn’t have this much fun at home.”

I always rush back to the tent/hotel/condo/house we’re staying in and madly write up aims and goals and to-do lists to try and carry the in-the-moment-mindset home.

Fast forward to now – ten days post travel, and I’m already failing. The tiny details of my guesthouse business are swallowing me, my dogs need walking, my house is a mess, I’m wasting away hours on line again and my kid is screaming for his TV shows and I’m stressed. What happened?

At first I thought it was just the fact that when I travel I don’t have has many possessions with me, thus less cleaning, no clutter…but it’s not true. Still gotta cook and eat, and in fact, keeping someone else’s house clean is much more important than my own place because I don’t want bad reviews on AirBnB or to lose my deposit for accidents of the toddler kind. So that’s the same.

Then I thought it was the fact that many of the places we stayed had rubbish wifi reception, no TVs and nothing except old fashioned puzzles and wood toys for the kid, and books for me. But that’s not it. I’m just as capable as sitting in a chair wasting hours and hours of a day reading a book and ignoring my child, while he spends hours and hours with a train set. So my time suck hobbies just change. Last month in Hawaii I read 15-20 books I think.

I thought maybe it’s my business – but then I spend the same amount of time online (possibly more on holidays with the horrid wifi) to do admin. I will admit I am finding myself sucked in more physically lately. I live ten minutes from the guesthouse  so I think its somehow “easier” to drive over than just let the onsite manager deal with whatever is going on. That’s a mistake, cause the more time I spend there the more likely people are to catch me and reel off a dozen tiny annoyances they have, none of which really need dealing with, but I try and then BANG a whole day has gone by looking for a spare key that was lost, or chasing feral cats out of the garage, or cleaning out a communal fridge trying to find the one smelly item.

I mostly think it’s just habit. In Sydney especially you have your “village” or your area that you know and love and you don’t venture out. So when I do have spare hours it’s easier to think, well, there is nothing to do out there so I should just waste time reading forums on line, or napping, or watching the 746 episodes of Without a Trace that were recorded by my TV in my absence.

Bondi Beach

This beach costs $2.50 and an hour on the bus to get to, 40 mins if I drive and pay $10 for parking.

It is totally not the done thing for an inner west girl (like me) to go to the beach too often, even if it is world-famous Bondi. It takes over an hour to get there at times, all that traffic, and sheesh, if I was a beach girl, I’d live in Bondi right?! STUPID mindset. Did I mention I just flew ten hours, then took an interisland flight, then rented a car, then drove four hours with a vomiting-motion-sick kid to see a cool little black sand beach on the Road to HanaI’d read about because I LOVE the beach?! But ah…I went to Bondi ONCE last year.

To get this photo cost me over $1200 in airfares, $500 in accommodation, $600 in rental car, plus passports, jetlag..the list goes on.

Also, my get-out-of-the-house hobbies are so much more exciting when travelling. I found five geocaches on the Big Island, driving out of our way, climbing cliffs and amusing the locals who had no clue what I was up to, but I still haven’t found the geocache in the dog park DIRECTLY OPPOSITE MY HOUSE. And my dogs haven’t been walked this week…despite the fact I lost two kilos in the US from all the walking I did. Ahem.

In some ways it’s easier just to book the next cheap airfare out of here, knowing that once I’m on the road I’m outdoors, laughing, having fun, enjoying the grocery shopping and driving  and loving parenting and all of a sudden the small things don’t matter and I’m totally living in the moment…

Ack. Help me people, what can I do to find the excitement in everyday life, in living in my own city, in not wasting the spare hours I have? And how can I drag myself out of the house often enough to walk those poor pups?

Honestly, we are *so* cute, and we love local adventures too. What is *wrong* with you dear owner?




One Response to “Keeping the Travel Mindset at Home”

  1. Micki@TheBarefootNomad June 5, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    I had to smile when I read this. I’m so much better at traveling than I am at the day to day.

    Especially the day to day with little kids, Any parent knows how incredibly tedious it can be to make your 10,000th funny face pancake, no matter how much you love or cherish your little ones.

    I’d take finding street food on the streets of Bangkok over shopping the local Safeway any day…

    Makes me think of this quote “I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine. Caskie Stinnett”

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