• Louma.

Vacation resolutions are the new, New Year's resolutions.

I think we can all agree that the real new year starts in September. Summer is over and fall is creeping in, the trees are changing color, a new school year begins, and most people are back from vacation. The new year actually starts now.

To me, it's coming back from vacation that gives me the feeling of a renewed beginning, especially if I travel. I think visiting a new country, a new city, even the neighboring town, gives you some peace of mind and a fresh perspective on things.

When you are away from your daily routine life, you get to improvise more, and when you do that, you discover new, better ways that you end up including in your life.

You meet new people or see people you haven't seen in a while, you get a peek on the lifestyle in their city, you explore new dishes and new scenery that gives you a fresh album of images in your head to get inspired from, and you prioritize what's important to you all over again.

We just got back from Montreal, Canada, last week. That's my city, where I used to live and work before moving to Seattle. It was a nice vacation with the family. It was great to see old friends, make new ones, and be more relaxed about chocolate eating and naps and bedtime for the girls, and of course, not worry about what's for dinner.

I was sad that our stay was over, but when we came back to Seattle and I stepped into the house, I felt so good to be back to my own beautiful home. I felt reenergized and ready to get back to work and our daily life, with a few improvements that I learned after the vacation. I called them vacation resolutions, and here they are:

- Babies: being a little less strict about nap time

In the 10 days in Montreal, my 2.5-year-old took one nap (she usually does every day), and my 1-year-old slept in her stroller almost every day, and did not wake up even on the busiest streets and restaurants. They were both fine. They were still happy for the most part, and slept well at night.

- Husband: connecting more

Away from work and the daily chores, it was easier to connect with Gus. Watching the girls discover new people and new environments, and reach new milestones, made it much better. I am deciding to make more time for such connections in our daily life.

- Me: taking extra care of myself

I've been working out and making healthier choices for a few months now and feeling so much better and more balanced. But when I was on vacation, I spent a few extra minutes on my overall appearance, like my skin and hair, and it did make a difference. I went shopping in my favorite Montreal stores too, and I feel like I'm getting back a part of the older me, who liked to look good and stylish, before pregnancies and kids and working from home. I decided to keep taking the extra minutes for me daily; it makes me feel fresher, even if I work from home.

- Focusing on the positive (this can be the hardest one sometimes)

Some things did not go as planned during the vacation (hint: cancelled flights, 3:00 AM arrival times, sickness, allergies...) I complained a bit, but did not let the challenges ruin this family vacation that I was looking forward to all summer. This is also a good tip for the daily life. Complain if you must, and move on quickly.

- Home: adding a pop of color Between inspiration from friends' homes in Montreal, and the city's streets that are a mix of old and new with pops of colorful graffiti here and there, I was inspired to add some more color in the house, and in my wardrobe, to add vibrance and freshness. Yay to painting walls and shopping for new art ;)

With these resolutions, I am ready to start fresh, and I have a whole list of to-dos and orders to take care of.

What vacation resolutions are you making this year? ☮

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