We just returned from a week long trip. We stayed in a large house with walls of windows just steps from the beach. A day and a half into it and we felt as though we belonged. Going on a trip gives you a great opportunity to try tweaks to your lifestyle. We had a huge house but it only had one shelf of books and another of DVDs, none of which were for kids. And there were no toys beyond what we brought ourselves.
The only thing I brought specifically for the kids were their clothes, a favorite blanket, and a tote bag of books and toys. The week flew by as vacation time usually does and we easily got by with that small tote bag of toys (we did buy some children's books from a great local bookstore). In the tote bag we had a small set of Legos, a set of stamps and ink pads, 2 blank notebooks, 4 books, 1 set of markers, 1 board game, and 2 favorite small toys. During down time, the boys dipped into the tote bag for things and then tossed them back in when finished. The small Legos set was dumped out on a bed or table each time they wanted to play and easily scooped back into the box when done. The beach house stayed tidy all week long with very little effort. This is in stark contrast to the heaps of toys we have at home.
When on vacation I am reminded of how little my kids actually need to have fun. Lots of fun was had with the rocks in the front landscaping, the seashells we found on the beach, and the sofa cushions in the living room. Of course the fact that we were on vacation and right on the beach served as the major source of fun for much of the week so it's not a totally fair comparison to day to day life at home. Nevertheless, the ease of maintaining the beach house inspired me to pare down at home. It was a total palate cleanser. One caveat: books are exempt.
Does vacationing sometimes inspire you to tweak your lifestyle and live differently?
(Image: Janie Lee)