Sink deeper into your couch with your glass of something and observe. Tell yourself the story of something near you that makes your life better. Is it your coffee pot, given to you by that Aunt you always admired? How is she? You could call her. You could write her a postcard, telling her how perfect the coffee has been since she gave it to you. Or you could just appreciate that you’re thankful for your aunt and how she always knows what a well-stocked kitchen needs.
Me? I’m reminding myself of my gratitude for the woman sitting on the couch next to me. We met during a brief moment at a too-loud party a few years ago. I needed a roommate, and she needed a room. There were no discussions of trivialities like “Do we go to sleep at the same time?” (No), “Do you snore?” (I did), “How do you handle pandemics?” (Not very well, it turns out). Yet the world I now live in is one in which I get my news read aloud as soon as her Economist arrives. We go on long hikes and trade good books back and forth. It’s lovely. There are things about your life that are fundamentally odd and uniquely wonderful to you. To usher in that feeling of vacation, you’re looking for them.
Finally, I engage my willingness to experiment. One thing I miss from my travels is the sensation of possibility—the feeling that I was outside the normal confines of my life, that things were malleable and open for interpretation. When you’re traveling, there’s not much structure around who you’re supposed to be, and you can try on different stories.
So I’m going to fake it. Today, I’ll play dress-up.
The same way that pulling wool socks over leggings triggers my brain to prepare for a hike or zipping up a coat beckons a frigid snow day, a silk dress is the precursor to an undefined evening far from home. For optimal vacationing, put on something that is outside your day-to-day, that feels excellent on your skin, that moves with you as you walk.