There is something about going on vacation that just allows you to be that kind of raw: you can just strip down to the essential you and exist. It is an almost primal feeling–an opening of your soul–if you allow it to be. I think that is why I find the various ways that people spend their vacations so intriguing: even more so than how they live their lives, how people vacation tells you exactly who they really are, and where their priorities lie.
Thank you to Amanda for this chance to think about loud! This has been a heavy week of thinking for me, already, even though I am on vacation–but that is just it: how we vacation shows who we are, and I’m a thinker! I don’t think I can express how much your support and understanding of my feelings in the past two day’s posts has meant to me. When I wrote my posts for yesterday (on protecting your healthy body image during time off) and the day before (on making priorities, not goals, my focus for this year), I had a feeling that they would get a response. I could have felt nervous to put a piece of myself out there in such a raw way, but I knew that you all would understand where I was coming from, so I want to thank you so much for your response, and offering up your own stories.
How We Vacation Shows Who We Are
And please realize that I am by no means saying that one manner of vacationing is better than another: just like one’s diet or exercise or sleep regimen is what personally works for them, the same can be said for how people choose to vacation!
- need to be directed to activities; to have a cruise director who will constantly amuse and occupy them.
- want to escape to a private island and never be spoken to.
- want to be pampered, to not move from a divan all day long and be fed bon bons by pool boys.
- take work with them, not because they cannot separate themselves from it, but because they are so passionate about what they do.
- take work with them because they cannot separate themselves from it.
- do all the tourist things.
- avoid the tourist experiences like the plague.
- must take a big group of people.
- want to be by themselves or with one significant other.
- travel extravagantly.
- just need a change of underwear and a toothbrush.
- stay at home.
- go far away.
How you vacation, how you choose to spend the 28 (or however many) days off out of the 365 (or 366, for this year), says so much about you and where you are right now in your life:
- happy with who you are?
- trying to imagine a life completely different from the one that you are living?
- searching for excitement?
- already having found what you need?
- open to new experiences? (I say this completely neutrally)
- very happy with your little bubble, thank you. (again, total neutrality)
I think, in many ways, vacation comes down to living the life that you want to live mixed with a dash of indulgence and whimsy. As an example, let’s look at Alex and myself.
How Alex and I Vacation Right Now
When Alex and I vacation (particularly for a week, so beyond just a day or so of being in a different head and physical space), we are really all about finding balance (you know me, all about juxtaposition and balance).
Yes, we do allow ourselves to have a fun beverage or two midday, but we also workout every day, and happily so–fitness is very much foundational to who we are. In fact, for Alex, vacation is an opportunity to work out! No schedule or patients that he has to work around, and a luxurious amount of time to spend at the gym like the old days (aka college, lol). We strive to be active throughout our vacations, whether they be at home or away because it heightens our enjoyment of our time off.
We like to have at least one meal per day that we can make ourselves, both to keep costs down but also to balance out our nutrition and keep from going too overboard. Plus, we like to cook, and Alex rarely has the chance to! But we also love to go out for luxurious, but still relatively simple meals, where we feel decadent for having a beer or two extra and, dare I say it, actually being able to talk. We gravitate towards places that aren’t necessarily holes in the wall, but definitely not tourist traps. We may laugh about being hashtag gringo, but we don’t actually want to be!
We both bring work with us–I have been studying while here in Cabo and Alex brought some things that he needs to work on as well–not because we can’t separate our lives from work, but because we don’t necessarily want to. We both love what we do! I love being a running coach and personal trainer–it is my passion. Alex loves being a doctor! But we do dictate just how much work we do, and when it is time to focus on each other, the work goes away.
I love to get up early–that is my time with my blogs and my friends and then with the sunrise and my coffee, and I have maintained that during our time here. The rest of the day, I am on blogs very little, and only on social media during down times.
When we travel, we like to try out new places as well as go to old favorites–and the same can be said for how we eat at home. We love going and getting our burgers and sweet potato fries at D4, but we also love trying out new restaurants, like going to Green River.
One thing that we are not, by and large, is extravagant, either at home or away. We like to dress up every now and then, but we would rather spend 30 bucks on a simple but delicious meal than $300 on an “experience.” That is not to say that the “experiences” aren’t fantastic–I am a foodie and I so revere them–but they aren’t necessary for us. For Alex and I, vacation is about the experience of being together during a time when we don’t have much of that.
And about soaking up that quiet, relaxing vacation before we have kids and we want to do #allthethings.
At the end of the day, live your life the way you want to live it, vacation the way that you want to vacation. But, if I may, I encourage you to strive towards a balance between your everyday life and vacation that is not so black and white but rather shades of gray that color each other. Find the vacation in your everyday so that you can also find the everyday in your vacation. That, to me, is the perfect balance in life.Find the vacation in your everyday, and the everyday in your vacation #sweatpink #travel Click To Tweet
How would you vacation if it was totally up to you?
What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
How close are you to a balance between vacation and everyday? Do you prefer greater or lesser contract between the two?