The first thing I did upon my return was to mop the floors. No kidding. After a 13 hour flight and being up for 24 hours, I got home and found that the pet sitter had left the back door open during the day and the inside of the house had been overrun with all the local kitties trying to get some extra snacks. So there was mud... and paw prints.
Once that was finished though, I set out to get settled as quickly as possible, here are my tips:
- Unpack. This might seem obvious but I have been known to continue living out of my suitcase for weeks once I've gotten home. There are souvenirs and ticket stubs and books and clothes that I just don't feel like taking care of, or I'm not sure where to put them so they stay in the suitcase. But because this time I packed so light I came back with a relatively small suitcase and an extra bag full of goodies for friends and some very carefully chosen goodies for myself.
So I just went ahead and took everything out of the bags and put the bags away. Then I methodically put things in their places. Having things in order helps to settle into being at home because there aren't piles everywhere. I also had made sure to leave the house clean so other than the paw prints it felt good.
- Laundry. Nothing feels better than things getting things clean.
- Take a shower or bath. Wash off all those hours of travel and take some time to savor the trip and not just jump right back into regular life and the same old habits. I took a bath and tried to hold on to the spirit of adventure and possibility that I felt traveling around. I also saw a lot of poverty, so I took some time to really grasp what a lucky girl I am (I have a bathtub! with clean water! and space all to myself!)
- Enjoy Sitting. This could be an extension of taking a bath. But after so much movement, I like to bring a certain stillness into being at home. I bought a lot of tea in China and took a moment to make myself a cup, spend time with my kitty cats and marvel at the perfect weather.
I saved looking at email and calling friends to announce my arrival until the following day. The first day back was just for me. What do you do to help settle back at home after a long trip or even a day at work?