I am ashamed to admit how long it has been since I have had a proper vacation without obligation to family or work. It is often hard for me to relax on vacation. Not to mention I usually book my trip full of sights and activities only to return feeling as if I need another vacation.
This trip will be different from those before I found minimalism. Our time away will be slow. It will be less encumbered by the things I pack and the things I buy. The goal of our trip will be to recharge and invest in our relationship.
I have mapped out a few keys to create memories that will last long into our future.
Wardrobe To-Go. In the past I have been a chronic over-packer. Eight pairs of shoes is not too many, right? Being a convert to Project 333 there is no doubt that my entire winter wardrobe could fit in one suitcase. But even that seems like too much. While I have not packed my bags yet, I am planning to take versatile items that can be easily layered or mixed and matched. As most of my winter wardrobe is black, this should not be an issue.
Wear It More Than Once. I won’t be on any catwalks and I am not a fashion blogger. Let’s face it; no one cares what I wear. I will definitely wear the same outfit more than once.
Minimize Schedules. This will be the biggest difference in vacationing pre- and post-minimalism. Usually I book all my time with fun activities and sightseeing. For this trip I have booked no activities as of the writing of this blog post. Not one activity. I am sure we will book one or two along the way, but not the onslaught I would usually experience. We will sleep in. Wake up slowly, and then make a plan for the day.
Relax and Refresh. There have been countless trips that I have returned from feeling exhausted and no more grounded than when I left. This will not be one of this. Because of our work schedules, my husband and I rarely get this much time away from work. We plan to use it to recharge our new marriage and ourselves.
Do Nothing. That’s right. I want to go on a trip and do nothing. Okay, so not every day. I want to have at least one do nothing day. I want one day to spend reading, writing, and reflecting on our experiences so far. Sure, this may involve leaving the apartment to grab a good meal or take a walk, but there will be no museums or tourist-laden locals.
Skip the souvenirs. There is another word for souvenir. Clutter. If I am honest with myself I can tell you there are only one or two purchases that I have made on trips I actually still enjoy. We will be opting out of the traditional souvenirs, and applying our purchasing questions to any items we buy. These things will be useful to our daily lives.
Eat local. We will be in the same city for 8 days, and we are excited to explore the local food markets. Purchasing groceries instead of eating out for three meals a day will help us to not only save money, but also to experience locally grown produce and meats.
Put the Camera Down. Sometimes it feels as if an experience did not exist if it was not posted to Instagram or Facebook. My life almost never looks as adventrous or lovely as the folks I follow on social media. While I will definitely be taking my fair share of snapshots, I do not want to spend the entire trip behind the lens. Our screens can only capture such a small segment of what is happening all around us. While that small bit may be beautiful by itself, I do not want to miss out on the whole masterpiece.
Memories make the best souvenirs. Instead of buying small items to take home, I will be spending my time and money creating memorable experiences. We are opting for small food tours and wine tastings over loads of shopping. I have taken time to map out a daily walk around the city incorporating a museum here and there. I like the idea of planning walks because they can be done or not be done. There is no cost to us. If we decide we would rather linger somewhere else, we can without feeling the guilt of losing money. Who I am traveling with is the most important part of my trip.
Let It Sink In. I am endlessly tempted to cram as much into our vacation as humanly possible. The trouble for me is over booking myself does not allow me to process where I have been, who I have met and what I have seen. I’m turning over a “slow” leaf. I am very much looking forward to being able to sit down with a notebook and write a few words about the day.
This blog will be quiet or the next couple of weeks while we are gone. There is no doubt that I will return with lots to share and write. In the meantime, I would love to hear from you.
What are some of your favorite slow vacation moments?