I spent more than 15 of my 20 year career traveling for my work. Some travels lasted a few days where others were constant to certain locations. Over the years, I discovered some ways to make me feel more connected to my home base.
1 – I always had a 5” X 7” framed photo of my family and I put up that frame on my night table near my bed. It was the first thing I saw in the morning, and the last thing I saw before falling asleep. Select a photo that makes you smile and makes you happy!
2 – I brought a pillowcase from home. I discovered that falling asleep with the familiar smell of home seemed to be the best relaxer.
3 – When I was in an apartment or long term hotel room, I would bring something familiar items for me to eat. I am a true peanut butter fan. I asked my husband who was visiting me after my first month in Argentina, to bring me some peanut butter. Dulce de leche is good, but I missed my peanut butter!
4 – I always bring my ipod with lots of different songs. Some of the songs remind me of home, others remind me of others trips I have taken. Some songs remind me of people in my life and all this make me so appreciative. It also makes me feel connected to home and those who are far away.
5 – I try to keep the same sleep and wake schedule as when I am at home. This is always a challenging one because of the time zone changes, but once the body is calibrated to the new location, try to revert back to your home schedule of sleep and wake.
6 – Keep your sleep habits. This includes your sleep wardrobe (clothes or no clothes), the side of the bed you typically use, and the number of pillows you choose. Make your sleep area as usual as possible.
7 – I sometimes sit down with a nice Bordeaux or Shiraz and go through my favorite pictures of home and of friends, and again, slip into the gratitude thinking. This seems to reinforce my connection with these wonderful souls, or to those calming locations and stunning sunsets.
When you travel for work or play, what do YOU do to bring HOME with you?