Preparing to Come Home from Traveling

I get so excited when it’s time to travel and I build it up so much for myself that it can be really hard returning to reality. Haven’t we all be there though? As much as I love my travel routines and things that I do to prepare for a trip–I also have a routine for coming home. A day or two before I come home, there are some questions that I begin to ask myself to help prepare for “post trip letdown/depression” and getting back into my normal routine. There are also a few things that I like to do when re-packing and then as soon as I get home.

QUESTIONS I ASK MYSELF BEFORE RETURNING HOME

  1. What have I learned from this trip? I think it’s important to always be evaluating yourself for things that you can learn or that you have learned. I think that trips can also be more meaningful for you personally if you have this mind-set.
  2. What am I dreading the most about going home? Face your fears and stressors head on! Yes–there will be responsibilities waiting for you, yes–there will be laundry, yes– there will be work to return to, and yes to so many other things that you will have to resume. However, I think it’s important to work through these feelings and concerns so that you can prepare strategies for dealing with these issues.
  3. When can I next look forward to time off? Something I have learned about myself, over the years, is that my work and focus tend to be better when I know that I’m working towards something or some time off. I think that it’s healthy to regularly plan time off so that you don’t become overly attached to work and forget to take care of yourself. I have tried to plan time off every few months, or as the opportunity arises, and it’s a great motivator for helping me return to everyday life and stay motivated with my responsibilities.

THINGS I DO BEFORE AND WHEN I GET HOME

  1. Put dirty laundry in a drawstring bag or separate tote bag. I think that this routine helps so much when unpacking because all of my dirty clothes are in one place and I can easily start laundry when I get home.
  2. Put away suitcase as soon as possible. About a week before a trip, I’ll pull out my suitcase so that I have something to look at that lets me know time off is coming. However, I like to put my suitcase away soon after I get home so that I don’t keep looking at it and wishing I was still on vacation. I really like to do this routine, even if this means that I literally dump out my suitcase into a pile and put it away–it helps me so much.

I hope these tips have been helpful for you! Do you have any routines for coming home from traveling?

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A Weekend in Napa & Sonoma

Hi everyone! I hope you are having a great day and an awesome start to your week, so far. Mondays can be intimidating sometimes, but I hope you can find some things to make you smile and enjoy today.

This blog post is the second part recap of my recent trip to California. If you didn’t read the last post, I went to California for a long weekend with my cousin, Grace. We spent a day or so in the LA/San Francisco area and then rented a car to spend two days in the Napa/Sonoma area.

Napa, California


After the “workday,” we were so lucky to have a private tour of The French Laundry‘s kitchen in Yountville, CA–which isn’t too far from Napa. The French Laundry is a Thomas Keller restaurant and he is a big name in the culinary world, and also in the gluten-free culinary world. Thomas Keller was the first to create a “cup-for-cup” gluten-free flour and many other brands later followed suit. My cousin had some connections to the restaurant and so we were both a little giddy when we heard we could take a tour. Below are some photos from around the kitchen, wine cellar, and private dining room–how gorgeous!

The French Laundry 6640 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599

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After the tour, we walked down the street to another Thomas Keller restaurant, Ad Hoc, and had dinner there.

Ad Hoc 6476 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599

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Ad Hoc was such a fun treat because it was a five-course meal served family-style. The menu changes every day and the staff is very educated about/conscious of dietary needs/restrictions. Since my cousin and I have to eat gluten-free, we asked about substations for a few things on the menu and the waiter immediately told us how our meal would be modified for a gluten-free diet. I managed to get photo of the salad and dessert, and forgot the other three courses because we were too busy eating. The starter was a warm potato salad and–OMG–Grace and I have been talking about that salad for a week. IT. WAS. AMAZING. We finished off dinner with a lemon custard that was also so delicious!

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A favorite quote:
-“It’s lemon so it should be a light dessert.” 
-“I’m more concerned about the cream base that’s mixed in with the lemon.”

After dinner, we went back to where we were staying and prepared to spend the next day in Sonoma.

Sonoma, California


 

Sunflower Cafe 421 1st St W, Sonoma, CA 95476

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The next morning, we slept in late and then went to get some brunch at the Sunflower Cafe. I got some coffee and an eggs benedict-ish dish on gluten-free bread. This meal was definitely a little heavy, considering how much I ate the night before, but it was still good.

After brunch we walked around Sonoma with our to-go coffees and went to the original Williams-Sonoma store. The decor inside was so clean, classic, and super inspirational for future decorating.

Williams-Sonoma 605 Broadway, Sonoma, CA 95476

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After walking around some more, we went back to our lodging and rested for a while before going to a wine tasting later that day. Traveling around California in such a short amount of time made us tired, haha!

Benzinger Family Winery 1883 London Ranch Rd, Glen Ellen, CA 95442

Our wine tasting was at the Benzinger Winery because they also offer a tour of the property and a little bit of education. Our tour was $30 each and I think that’s such a good price for what the tour was and the scenery! The weather was perfect that afternoon and it was so peaceful.

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After the wine tasting, we went to have a light dinner before going back to our lodging for an early night. We were going to be traveling home the next day and wanted to make sure we got all the rest we could before another busy work week.

The Girl & The Fig 110 W Spain St, Sonoma, CA 95476

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We ate so much good food on this trip! California is definitely the place to go if you are a foodie. We went to The Girl & The Fig and split a cheese and charcuterie board and it was so yummy! They also have gluten-free crackers that they brought with our food, instead of the bread that was on the menu.

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The next morning we packed up and headed back to San Francisco to catch our flights home. On the way out of Sonoma, we stopped at The Fremont Diner for breakfast.

The Fremont Diner 2698 Fremont Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476

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I ordered some bacon, eggs, and avocado and it was a great last meal in California! This cafe was so cute inside too and they served coffee out of teal thermos (Thermoses? Thermosi?).

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Our trip to California was so relaxing, even though it was a busy weekend, and I’m really thankful for the time I had with my cousin to enjoy traveling and to catch up on life. Love you Grace–thanks for asking me to go with you!

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26 Hours in LA & San Fran

This weekend I took a few days off and went to California with my cousin, Grace. She had some work that she needed to tend to in LA, San Francisco, and Napa and asked if I would be her traveling buddy for the weekend. Of course, I said “yes! Totally! Count me in!” before I even worked out the logistics on my part, haha! I posted a lot of photos on my Instagram (@lovefromamyblog) of our weekend but I’m going to break down the trip into two blog posts. It was a whirlwind weekend but it had just the right amount of work, rest, quality time, good food, and coffee. Keep on reading below if you want to know what we did in LA and San Francisco!

Los Angeles, California


Grace and I were on separate flights into LAX but I met up with her once we landed. She went on to take care of some work things and I headed to the hotel with our luggage. We both got into LA early in the morning so I wasn’t able to check into our hotel until later that afternoon. I walked around West Hollywood for a little while and enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine. I met up with Grace a little later in the afternoon and we went to get some lunch.

Real Food Daily WeHo 414 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

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This restaurant had such a good variety of fresh, real food and was pretty much organic/vegan. We split a salad, avocado toast (because LA), and a gluten-free lemon cupcake and it was so good that I forgot to take photos. There were also so many gluten-free options, which is always so helpful when you’re traveling to new places.

After lunch, I went with Grace on some work-related errands. I love interior design so much and LA is such a great place to get inspiration and observe urban-style.

 

 

Alfred Tea Room 705 N Alfred St, Los Angeles, CA 90069

After running errands, we were starting to feel the day catch up with us and needed a snack. We went to Alfred Team Room for a bubble tea and ordered a chai tea with oat milk. If you ever wanted to try all forms of “milk” imaginable–go to LA. Plus, the inside of the cafe is Millennial Pink–so cute and so LA.

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A favorite quote: “I’m gonna be that person that if you didn’t take a picture of it, it didn’t happen.”

 

Jinpachi 8711 California State Route 2, West Hollywood, CA 90069

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After we checked-in to our hotel, we went in search of dinner before we called it an early night. We went to Jinpachi and split a few orders of sushi and that totally hit the spot. The food was also so good that I, again, forgot to take photos.

We went back to the hotel after dinner and prepared to get up at 4am for our flight to San Francisco.

San Francisco, California


The next morning we flew to San Francisco for a few hours and then we were going to drive to Napa for the rest of the weekend. The architecture and scenery of San Francisco is incredible and I love how no house is the same. One of my favorite movies is What’s Up Doc?and the movie also takes place in San Francisco. I kept internally chuckling to myself because there is a scene when characters are flying down the streets in their bikes/cars/ice cream carts and it was just pretty hilarious. I highly recommend you watch that movie!

As Quoted 3613 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94118

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We stopped at As Quoted for some breakfast and coffee before we headed to Napa. As Quoted has a large variety of gluten-free options and I ended up ordering avocado on toast again and an almond milk latte. So good! The gluten-free bread was also made by the cafe and it definitely passed the test of “eatable” gfree bread! 049e2264-35e9-40ce-bb68-e0eacc44d740

On our way out of town, we passed the Golden Gate Bridge and stopped to take a few photos. The weather was chilly and gloomy but I had never seen the bridge and was glad to get a photo. So cool!

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Our next stop–Napa and Sonoma! Coming in another blog post soon!

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My Travel Routine: Things I Do Before a Trip

Tomorrow is a travel day and it’s going to be an early one! I feel like breaks always seem to come when you’re starting to feel a little burned out–so I’m thankful for a little bit of time away to recharge and refocus. I thought I would share with you a few things that I like to do to prepare for travel and then what I do that morning.

Have car serviced the week before a trip

If I am driving somewhere, I will usually take my car in to get the oil changed and just have routine maintenance to make sure I don’t have any breakdowns. When I was growing up, there were a few times that my family was unlucky with cars and road trips and I think those experiences have been ingrained into my memory. However, if I am flying somewhere–I will probably just make sure that my car has been vacuumed out and that it’s clean inside.

Set 10 alarms

Ok maybe not 10 but I probably do set 5-6 alarms to help me wake up on time. I prefer to travel super early in the morning, that way you get to your destination earlier and have more time to explore. A big thank you to my dad, also, who is willing to take me to the airport when I book flights for 4am, haha! But seriously, set several alarms if you have a super early flight.

Leave a clean space

Before I leave on a trip, I have to make sure that my living space is clean, my bed is made, and that all of my laundry has been done. This helps me to feel less chaotic about leaving and it makes coming home less stressful, knowing that I don’t have to worry about a mess.

Lay out everything you need for travel day

I will leave out a pile of clothes that I’m going to wear, anything I need to use in the morning and then pack, and then unplug everything that’s been charging. I also really like to do this because I know where everything is and I’m not running around in a mad dash–especially if I oversleep through the first 4 alarms.

Get to the airport early

I’m really glad that I live close to an airport and that it doesn’t take too long to get there. I still like to get to the airport earlier than needed so that I can take my time and find where I’m supposed to be. I also like to get a cup of coffee at the airport because it’s a little ritual I have to help start vacation.

Do you have any trip or travel day rituals?

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Photo by Ross Parmly on Unsplash

 

Why I Travel and Things I Have Learned

I’m so excited for next week because I will be going on my first trip of 2018! Traveling is something that has become part of my life and I love it. I’m excited to share some photos with you this next week, also, so stay tuned to the blog and my Instagram account.

Today I’m talking about some reasons why I travel so much and things that I have learned from those travels. I hope you find this post fun and interesting!

Home is where my people are

As I have grown older and life has gone on, a lot of my family and friends now live out of state. Home feels less and less like it’s in one place because I truly feel that wherever the people are that I love–that’s home to me. I tend to miss people pretty easily and so any time I can get with my people is always something that I try to make happen.

There is so much more out there than just my little world

I used to be such a home-body and didn’t really have the desire to travel for the longest time. Boy, was I missing out. There is so much more life, culture, people to meet, and places to see than just the little bubble we surround ourselves with. I want to experience and see the world! I think it’s one of the best ways to learn about life when you see it through the lens of other cultures.

Traveling has made me bolder

I am much more confident when traveling and really don’t mind it too much when I have to travel by myself. I think that I have a greater awareness of my surroundings, I can talk to people much more easily to ask for help or directions, and I have learned from the cultural faux pas that I have made.

Once you start traveling it’s hard to stop

Yes! The travel bug is a real thing and so addictive. I’m always planning something next! I’m so thankful for the people in my life who urged me to travel and helped me to become obsessed with seeing new places.

Traveling is more fun when you go with others

I think it’s so cool that I have family and friends who love to travel and are always looking for people to go on adventures with. If you are wanting to start traveling, the first thing I would recommend (aside from getting your passport) is to find friends who will go with you! Some of the best trips of my life have been with family and friends.

I would love to hear about your thoughts on travel and your favorite places you’ve been! img_6702-3