For our honeymoon (in 2015), we went to Seychelles and it was unforgettable! Since then we kept saying that we need to do another island vacation. So, since both our work schedules allowed it, we decided to book our trip (through a friend at MF Event) and went to Mauritius.

We spent a week on the island doing basically nothing, and it was absolutely heaven! In the mornings we only got up at 9am, had a late breakfast and spent the day by the pool (which overlooked the beautifully clear ocean). We read books, tanned and perfected the afternoon siesta. We were spoilt with a large choice of food and drinks. We took leisurely strolls along the white, sandy beaches, went on a boat trip, did lots of snorkelling, and yoga. We came home with our hearts and souls happy and rested.

Holiday bliss in Mauritius.

We were privileged to be able to go on this holiday, but I realised it is never that easy to just hop on a plane and go somewhere. Any vacation needs good planning: those flights won’t pay for itself, and you need to take time off work. Let’s be real for a second: life is messy. In between paying bills, chasing deadlines, trying to have a social life, and going to gym just for the medical insurance discount, most of us can only dream about that much-needed vacation.

This got me thinking about that famous quote: create a life you don’t need a vacation from. Yes, it is a bit cheesy and the exact kind of thing you’d find on Pinterest. It is much easier said (or pinned on your “Quotes” board), than done. But I believe there is truth in it: create a life where you are happy, balanced and not caught up in the rat race. Here are a few things I have started implementing in my life to make me happy and to keep my soul fed. My suggestion is that you do something similar or whatever that works for you.

1. It is not about money, it is about happiness. It is true that money makes the world go round and it sure helps in creating a stable and safe life. But if it comes at a higher cost, then it is not worth it. I have experienced this in my own career. I’ve been offered jobs from big clients with lots of money, and I had to take it, even though I had family obligations happening around that time. This resulted in me missing out on some big milestones in my personal life and in the end left me more unhappy, even with that big pay check. Money cannot buy happiness, dry off your tears, or fill a void of being lonely. But friends and family can. So, put that first, above anything else. I started doing this; saying no to some jobs if I knew I’d rather be home at that time for whatever personal (and valid) reason, and it’s made me a happier and healthier person (and employee).

Family is everything!

2. Plan your free time and allow yourself to enjoy it.When you go on vacation, you put a lot of thought into it. There is no difference between vacation free time and everyday free time. Plan to do things that make you happy. Go see a concert, do a wine tasting, have dinner with friends. Don’t assume these things will happen, go and do it.

3. Enjoy the little things in life. Listen to your favourite music, open that special bottle of wine, drink good coffee, read a book. These all seem like little things to do, but they make the biggest difference. I absolutely love doing all three of these things, separately or even all at once! In our home there is always music playing, we love a glass of wine before dinner, and I constantly have my nose in a book. I know a lot of people say they don’t get time to read during the week or only read when they are on holiday, but that is no excuse. Make the time! Even if it is only five minutes before going to bed, or while waiting for your next meeting. Believe me, as soon as you get into your book, you will find lots of time to finish it. Other “little things” to do is trying new restaurants or coffee shops and this makes us feel like tourists in our own city. Have a look at this this blog post of mine for more on this subject.

Good coffee feeds the soul.

4. Switch off your phone. This might seem impossible. We are always connected and accessible through email, social media and WhatsApp/iMessage. Try and give yourself a break from it all … Switch off your email when you get home – you can deal with work once you’re back in the office. Try and limit your time on social media, because constantly scrolling through Facebook/Instagram is addictive and really not that great for one’s self-esteem. I struggle with this a lot, especially since the fashion industry and social media go hand in hand. But it is so rewarding to take a step back and to look up instead of looking down at one’s phone – just be present! Replace that phone-time with some of the fun things I mentioned above.

Friends, I know all this is easier said than done and you all will most likely log off and slip back into your routine. But try and make the time to enjoy your life! Even the smallest of things, like good coffee or a phone-free weekend, can make a big difference and uplift your spirit. Try not get too caught up in life and don’t always take things (or yourself!) too serious.

Everyday I try and create a life I don’t need a vacation from and I invite you to do the same. Create your dream life; you only have one!

Love and light,