I had the opportunity to travel last week. I realized how much both my husband and I needed to disconnect from work and chores and to become completely present with ourselves and one another. As we began to unwind, we felt more connected with one another and free of our busy lives at home. Every minute felt special, especially since we had not traveled in over a year. 
 
We felt so free riding our bikes, playing games, laughing, swimming, reading, listening to music, holding hands, and eating delicious food. We turned our phones off, and we rarely looked at them throughout the trip. A few quick photos or a glance at the weather report, which was always perfect, was the only reason we used our phones.  
 
We looked around at other couples and families and noticed most all of them were on their phones. They were on them all of the time, including at the dinner table. They were taking selfies, scrolling through social media, texting, talking, and whatever else entertained them. The disconnect from nature and loved ones was unfortunate. Some even had headphones in, and I was astonished by how much they were missing. The sounds of the birds, the ocean waves, the beautiful music playing in the outdoor restaurants, the palm trees waving in the breeze, all things I was soaking up each day of our trip. Having conversations with my husband uninterrupted by cell phones was a blessing. Why were all these people choosing not to take the serenity while on vacation?  
 
On our return home, I asked my husband how we can capture some of these beautiful senses from our trip? So we came up with some ideas, and I created tiny spaces around our house that would remind us of our precious vacation. We brought in a few new plants and some colorful pillows. I downloaded some new playlists and agreed we would put our phones away more often. We also went through the foods we ate and did our best to remember the flavors so that I can recreate them and share them with you. 
 
Slowing down and becoming present is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your relationships with others. Sometimes we don’t know what we are missing until we take it slow and become 100% engaged with what is happening around us. By gifting yourself the time to meditate or nap, you would be surprised by the difference it makes in your life. Clearing your mind, resting your mind, and finding appreciation in all the little things around you will bring out the best in you. Even if going on a vacation is not something you can do right away, you can do like I did and add a few small things to your space to help you unwind and relax.