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Oh Canada!

You know it… that feeling that comes the second a vacation begins. Sometimes kicking in as soon as your first step out the door, suitcase in hand.

I find this feeling humbling. Work and life obligations distance in a second (what was I worrying about?). Adventure begins. This week I took off to Montreal for a one-week house swap. I closed the door to my home with the key to someone else’s home in hand, a plane to catch, new sights and sounds to experience, a new language to hear, new people to meet. It took months of planning but the second I stepped out that door instant metamorphosis: I am not my life.

A stressed mind shuts us down. An open, relaxed mind frees up creative thinking. When I distance myself from day-to-day life with travel, I quickly gain perspective. I feel instantaneously more in control of my life, and significantly less…overwhelmed.

From away I can see that excessive, obsessive hours at my computer are not good for my health. From away I can see that my networking involvements, while time-consuming, are worth the effort. These are the people that sustain me and help to drive my business. From away I can see that my anger over a $40 credit card late fee is not worth fighting over. The documentation alone needed to win it back will be laborious. I let it go. From away I can take joy in spending that same amount – $40 – on a bottle of wine to celebrate life with my brother (who is joining me for part of my vacation). The brain clears, the body breathes. Priorities clear.

And if you are super open… the universe may also line up to (inadvertently) support your cause. My Blackberry broke yesterday. The roller-ball kicked out. I fretted for an hour (what, what, what the bleep, bleep, bleep, I can’t scroll!) then I let go. Turns out, there’s a cat here that sits on the radiator and sticks its paws in the fish bowl. Now watch that!


Anyhow, if you haven’t escaped your home environment for a while, consider it. Even a day trip will do. In the meantime, enjoy these kids skating in Montreal. It might even make you… breathe.

Kids in Montreal ice skating 




Maeve Richmond is the founder and head coach of Maeve's Method, a home organization system based in New York City. She specializes in parents & kids, couples, small space solutions, space planning and decorative elements for the home. Contact her at or @MaeveRichmond.

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