Vacation Mode: How to FULLY Enjoy Your Time Away

How to Fully Enjoy Your Vacation

Good morning all,

Ah, I just returned home with Marco Monday morning from a trip to Hawaii. A trip that I’ll always remember as a favorite. A trip that was lively, fun, adventurous… and yet so relaxing and quieting to my soul.

Hikes, snorkeling, and very loud amazing friends made it fun, adventurous, and lively. Extra sleep, quiet evenings with wine on the balcony, and loads of time in the sun made it relaxing.

Time away from the online world quieted my soul. I haven’t yet jumped fully back into the online world since coming home and part of me wonders how much I will (speaking of Instagram specifically).

Marco and I Hawaii Vacation

In the few moments that I have jumped onto Instagram, I was able to ask what you wanted to hear in a blog post, surrounding vacation.

The request I chose to talk about, regarding vacation, is this: feeling present, in the moment, and savoring it [vacation], how to return to “real life” recharged and inspired.


The first thing I want to talk about is the Joy of Missing Out, specifically from the online world. We’re all so plugged in these days.

When I go on vacation, my goal is to unplug. Ways that I unplug:

  • set an away message for email
  • leave my phone in the hotel room, often
  • take photos with my regular phone camera (not the IG camera)
  • post the photos I want to share all at once instead of all throughout the day
  • either don’t check email at all, or very periodically and only respond to messages that need a response (everything else goes into a “when I’m home” folder)
  • savor the people right in front of me

I find it so necessary to unplug when I’m away. Unplug from social media, email, and work. Unplug from chores, daily to-do’s, and thinking about routine.

Since I didn’t have my phone much, I didn’t take THAT many photos. I do love to have photos when returning home from a trip. It helps me to remember the trip better.

What can you do about this? Take a regular ol’ point and shoot camera OR just ask friends who ARE taking photos to share their photos with you. I did the second one.

Savor It

The next thing is to SAVOR your vacation by slowing down and being present to whatever it is you’re doing.

When you’re hiking, hike. Enjoy it. Let it challenge you. Take in the view. Breathe. Sweat. Be there.

When you’re eating dinner, savor it. Taste the flavors. Eat foods that are local to the area. I ate loads of fish and fruit in Hawaii when we went out to eat because those things are local.

Ignite your senses and enjoy what’s there. I used Hawaiian lotion, shampoo, conditioner, and sipped Hawaiian coffee. When I exercised, I tried my best to run outside and soak in the view.

I love being around people and being around people does energize me, for a time. But every so often (throughout a trip) I absolutely need to return to quiet to charge up again to be around people.

The ways I’d do this:

  • go to bed a little bit before others
  • bring my coffee to bed or sit on the patio and soak in the quiet
  • swim out a ways in the ocean and just float on my own for a time
  • walk ahead on a hike for just a few minutes
  • shut my eyes and rest while in the car with everyone
  • if nothing else, take an extra pee break alone (haha!)

Return Refreshed

Returning home refreshed is so specific to your own personality and what you need. A great question to ask yourself is: “What DO I need to feel refreshed?”

Some people need loads of fun and activity. Others need loads of relaxing and ZERO plans. Marco, for example, would return home antsy if he went on a trip and relaxed the whole time (not me!).

I need a mix of both, but more relaxing. I love to have plans and try new things because these things energize me in a different way. They give me confidence, they inspire me, and they challenge me.

And I also need lots of relaxing. Extra coffee time, extra quiet, LOTS of time in the water, whenever possible, and gentle movement like a breezy jog or a nice walk.

On the plane ride home I pulled out a notepad and tried to plan my Monday. Lord, that overwhelmed me. I felt like I had so much to do with so little time. So I tossed it. I thought of the MOST important things and did those.

For me, that was:

  • grocery shop
  • unpack
  • start laundry
  • straighten the house
  • run Abby
  • answer all client emails
  • plan out my work week
  • prep for upcoming Discovery Sessions
  • two phone meetings
  • make an easy oven dinner
  • early to bed!

I knew I wanted to return home calm and ready to be productive, but I didn’t want to feel stressed.

Keep it Going

After this vacation, I also felt inspired to keep enjoying pieces of Hawaii. How did I do that?

  • I brought home Hawaiian shampoo, conditioner, and lotion from the hotel and am using it — the smells give me that Hawaiian feeling
  • I’m drinking Hawaiian coffee (which I also brought home) each morning
  • I’m listening to slow music that relaxes me
  • I look at photos and remember my favorite moments/memories

And last but not least… we’re planning our next trip back! Our goal is to return within two years.

Any other topic requests surrounding the topic of vacation? Put them in the comments below 🙂

Oh, and I plan to start up some daily eats first thing next week. So get ready!

Have a beautiful week and I’ll see you Friday with another new post 🙂

Love, Paige

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