After nearly every international trip and cultural exchange, I go through this re-entry type-process back into my daily routine. It’s more than reverse culture shock, this is walking back into your routine with new a perspective, an appreciation for the things you have and a mental note of what’s truly important and needed in your life. In my post-vacation glow, I yearn to not get sucked back into my mundane routine of just “trying to get through the day.”
Cuba, oh you guys, Cuba taught me so much. Not that other countries and experiences haven’t, they all have offered their own, unique perspectives. But, Cuba…
I was without any sort of social media connection for 5 days. Lies. I signed into FitBit and used 3MB so I could join my weekly Workweek Hustle Challenge with friends because I knew I’d have tons of steps walking around Havana. Oh, and maybe I signed into FB once too. Basically, I just cost myself $14 for 7MB of data use in Cuba. Mad problems.
After 5 days, when I got back, I didn’t want to sift through hundreds of emails. I didn’t want to check into work. I didn’t want to see how many Likes something got. I had no desire to “keep up” with the daily trends because, guess what, I survived without it! The earth still revolved around the sun without me checking to see if a project I busted my ass for had client feedback yet.
I know this seems petty and perhaps super first world problems (although, I hate that phrase after traveling to more than a few third world countries), but the first step in addiction is admitting you have a problem, right?
I need to shift things around and it’s going to start right meow.
Sometimes, after trips, I go through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and unfollow anyone or anything that doesn’t add value to my life, doesn’t educate or motivate me in some way, shape or form. Additionally, I also seek out to learn more about the places I just set foot in, so I’ll follow those accounts.
But, I want to do something more and now is the time of year people start making resolutions. But here’s the thing, I’d rather not have them be resolutions, but be more-so like cutting the chord to shit that doesn’t represent me but just fills an empty void.
Rip that mundane Band-Aid off.
I’m riding Cloud 9 after an incredible vacation where I learned so much and I want to make sure it continues. So, here it goes.
Operation: Achieve Lifestyle Shift
Actually use my Rosetta Stone and improve my Spanish
I could not believe the Spanish that came out of the cobwebs of my brain while we were in Cuba. The same happened in Spain. My Spanish teachers would have been both proud (and maybe a bit embarrassed – conjugating is hard!) I want to ride this post-Cuba wave and really soak up the 2nd language that I know, at least well enough to hold a decent conversation.
Stop recording Bravo & MTV reality TV shows
This is perhaps, sadly, the biggest change for me. I updated my DVR settings and deleted reoccurring series. It was that simple. Some people are often surprised that I watch these mindless TV shows, but I do and I don’t want it to take up any of my time anymore. They are great for getting your mind off the day, but perhaps I should focus more on making sure I don’t need a day to get my mind off of?
Read more at night and/or in the morning
My sister gave me an actual book for Christmas. Like a book with a spine that you open up and can smell the pages. I have’t had one in years because of my Kindle. It’s been great! I want to learn more about Cuba’s history and Japan’s obsession with cats and Korea’s love/hate relationship with the US. They have these wonderful things called books for that!
Make my blog a top priority
Guess what takes a backseat when I get busy? Oh, that’s right, this here bloggy-poo. It’s so, so, so common amongst bloggers with full-time jobs. But if I ever hope to make a living off my writing or this site, I need to show more, do more and share more. Which leads me to the next item.
Do not feel chained to my desk
I rarely take a lunch break. In Q4, I rarely left before 7. As many people in marketing know, that’s the name of the game when the time calls, especially as a copywriter. But now it’s a new year and I’m going to make it a priority to have a better work/life balance and go eat my lunch at the damn beach at least once a week, okay?
Realize that people are sometimes just shitty people.
Stop trying to assign intentions to their behavior or make excuses for them. Some people are just self-centered and will somehow make the conversation about themselves. Some people are not really interested in listening to you. Some people will only talk, text, visit, call or write when it’s convenient for them. Some people are just hurt and behave like aholes. I need to accept this more and move on.
So, muchas gracias, Cuba! Here’s to a more intention-filled life.
Do you ever experience a reawakening after traveling? What about your New Year resolutions?