A Passion for Travel, Part 11 [Updated]: Coming-Home Checklist

Home sweet home - Felixstowe sunset

Home sweet home – Felixstowe sunset

Having lain awake half the night for the past two nights contemplating all the items on my to-do list, it seems appropriate to update the last post in my Passion for Travel series, ‘Coming Home’.

Since writing the original post, I’ve become more accepting that we won’t get caught up on everything within a day or two of arriving back in Felixstowe.

My current coming-home checklist looks like this:

* Physical
–  try to factor in some recovery time – for additional sleep or rest, a not-too-crowded appointment diary (if possible, at least for the first couple days) and time for the activities listed below
– accept that return jet lag happens and try not to stress about it

* Review calendar and upcoming fixed appointments – make sure we don’t miss or forget anything because we’ve been away and that we do have time planned in the not-too-distant future to reconnect with local friends and family

* Unpack & re-organise for next trip:
– wheelie
– shoulder bag
I store many travel items in one bag or the other; e.g. family travel papers, lingerie bag, laptop security cable, etc. And as per a great comment from KimB on the original post, part of unpacking/repacking includes restocking travel-size toiletries and storing them in the wheelie.

* Get up-to-date with ‘at the desk’ tasks and daily life:
– finances & print-outs as needed of items handled while away
– hardcopy mail (thanking friends D&J for collecting it for us)
– filing of any important papers accumulated during the trip
– items on a running to-do list I keep while we travel, of tasks for ‘when we get home’
– and of course: laundry and grocery shopping

* Edit/purge trip photos — we usually download from camera(s) to laptops/tablets each night but I always take way too many photos and they take up valuable space on our hard drives.

These are so many practical tasks, showing me why it’s virtually impossible to feel ‘all caught up’ the day after we arrive home. On a deeper level, I recommend a wonderful e-book, ‘The Graceful Return: Relish Your Journey after You’ve Come Home’ by author and creativity guru Cynthia Morris. I love this book, available on amazon UK and US and covering many topics, including physical care, expectations, emotions, and suggestions for using art forms such as writing, scrapbooking, and mindmapping to help process the journey.

Much of our travel involves seeing our families, but our next planned trip is a short UK getaway at the end of June. We’re looking forward to visiting the English city of York, exploring its history and reconnecting with one of Clive’s lifelong friends and his wife. Until then, it’s great to be home sweet home.

How about those of you reading this – do you have any tips and tricks from your experience coming home from a trip?

Tree by the sea – blossoming out in the past couple weeks

Tree by the sea – blossoming out in the past couple weeks

Cheers and thanks for reading. Next week’s letter will be from Felixstowe.

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2 Responses

  1. Oh, dear. This sounds too “list-like” and too hard. My idea of the day after I get home from any trip is to lie around, read interesting novels, drink tea, and talk to the cat. I do manage to get my dirty clothes into the hamper and mostly get my suitcase unpacked. Perhaps toward the end of the afternoon I go to the grocery store, but that is it. I must admit it hasn’t always worked that way, and sometimes I have had several appointments the day after I get home; however, the above is my goal.

  2. Eleanor, I’m definitely a list (or spreadsheet!) person — always have been and they help me feel more calm and that I at least know the scope of what eventually needs to be done.

    That said, I hear you — my number one suggestion is to build in some recovery time for simply resting; ie drinking tea and doing activities as you suggest!. Talking to the cat is always good 🙂

    Unfortunately, this time we had some near-term commitments so we’ve been running around a bit and still fighting jet lag. Argh! Oh well. C’est la vie and I’m trying to follow my own advice and not stress about it too much.

    Must be time for another cup of tea. Cheers.

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