The Most Underrated Part of a Trip

After four sun-kissed, flip-flop wearing, ancient relic-touring, much-good-food eating days in Puerto Rico, I returned to February in Maine.

My apartment was cold. My fridge was empty. My laundry was dirty.

I couldn’t complain, right? I’d just been to Puerto Rico!

Well, we can do whatever we want. Whether it’s useful to us or not is a different story.

But what I remembered as I unpacked, undressed, readied for Monday was that I’d forgotten to plan my re-entry from the trip in the same way I’d planned the rest of the trip.

When we come back from time away, especially time that’s exciting, elevating, and filled with newness, it is helpful to be thoughtful about our re-entry back to regular order.

If we can, we may pay a bit more for an earlier return that brings us back in the afternoon, rather than the late of evening. Or we may even come back on Saturday and gift ourselves Sunday to lull, water plants, open mail, tee up the week.

We may get groceries before we go so we return to a fridge of what we need for tonight, tomorrow, even the next day.

We may pre-schedule a coffee with friends who will get what our experience was so we can commune with them soon after returning.

We may do the things that ease the transition from the extraordinary to what may seem like the ordinary life. Otherwise, our lasting memory of the trip can be tainted by a return to nothing but dirty sheets and stacks of unanswered emails.

I dropped the ball on Puerto Rico. I mistook the end of the trip for when we lifted off from San Juan.

But the re-entry is as much a part of the journey as the journey itself. And it is worthy of our same care and consideration.

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