Honey, Let Me Tell You… let’s talk about vacation!

Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.  Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”

Maya Angelou

Yes, my friends, the spirit of Aloha lives on in me, although I am now back home, knee deep in the daily structure! (Is there anywhere more beautiful than Hawaii? I think not!)

I have been thinking about how vacation means so much to all of us. As the quote above states, we all need those days of rest, relaxation and renewal. I have had the pleasure of going away for vacations, and having stay-cations, and they all end up having a similar effect on me. I come back to my daily life revitalized, ready to tackle everyday problems, with more inspiration and innovation than when I left. It is imperative that we all switch off sometimes, get some new perspective, and take a more detached look at our lives.

It all starts, for me, at least, with the glory of being in a new environment, and a sense of discovery about my home away from home. As the week (or whatever time period) goes on, I become more introspective, and think about the life left behind, and what I’d like to build on, change, or keep the same. And, there are other perks… seeing whales breech off the coast, sleeping in the middle of the day (yep, did that!), eating consistently wonderful food, walking 16,000 steps each day (easy to do on vacation!). (Aren’t blisters are a part of the vacation experience?!)

I think, no matter where we go to “vacate” our normal life, the key is to immerse ourselves in that new environment. I find that I notice so much more about my surroundings when they’re not familiar. My brain is more actively taking in all the scenery and smells, and I feel more alive. Things I might not notice at home are front and center on vacation (I think we all have the issue of clutter, mess, etc., becoming part of the landscape at home if not dealt with quickly. It is nice to go away and come back, and to see our own life with refreshed eyes, with the energy to do something about what we don’t like.) Yes!

Hawaii is an expensive vacation spot. We save all year for it. However, I’ve had similar experiences in Ashland, Oregon, for a few days of plays at their renowned Shakespeare Festival. (Ashland is an amazing town in Oregon that has built their whole economy on both the works of Shakespeare and contemporary playwrights and the presentation of these dramatic works. At any one time, there are multiple plays happening at their many theaters. It is an amazing celebration that goes on 9 months out of each year). Much less expensive, and no less renewing. I’ve also had similar experiences in Atlanta, visiting my folks, and seeing old friends and observing how they live. And don’t even get me started on London and Dublin.

But, here’s the broader view: the key is really seeing how other people live! Whether in Hawaii, London, Dublin, Ashland or Atlanta, it’s so eye-opening to see how other people spend their days. We can learn so much by becoming less and less provincial. Travel opens our eyes to the realization that people, no matter where they are, are just like you, and yet, not like you at all! I love it, and always come home ready to instill the things I’ve learned, with great hope and enthusiasm!

Is that a whale I see?

So, where’s your favorite spot of inspiration? What place or places feed your soul? I’d love to know. Even more than that, I’d love to put it on my bucket list! Life is good!

Until next time, my friends…

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