Articles / Unwinding is the Only Thing on This Menu

Unwinding is the Only Thing on This Menu

Published May 25, 2023

“This is where we’re from, this is what we do, and this is who we are”

Spring break recently passed, and while most years I drag my family to a far-flung mountain lean-to for goat brains or an equatorial beach shack for grilled fish, this year, you couldn’t have convinced me to go to Philly for cheesesteaks. Traveling with kids is exhausting—not just the trip itself, but the rebound. We weren’t ready for it this year. Baby Naeem was keeping us awake at night, Zoraida was having dizzy spells, my joints throbbed, and 8-year-old Marcel was chewing his fingertips like a madman. We needed to hang back and get into a rhythm.

Zoraida and I hypothesized that we’d been making ourselves too busy, traveling at every opportunity and looking too far afield for fulfillment. It prevented us from steeping in the local waters and from maintaining the sort of calm, consistent routines that are grounding—laundry and budget on Sundays, dinner out on Wednesdays, pizza and a movie on Fridays. We decided to spend the break getting back in touch with the familiar. So, a few weeks before vacation, we had a video call with my dad and told him we were canceling our trip to see him in Barcelona. After hanging up, our shoulders sank like we had just dropped handbags full of gold bricks. (Canceling also made us thousands of dollars richer.)