Lately, I have been working near the airport. The jet stream kicking up wind and blowing it back into my face. The bitter winter bite hurting my cheeks and my feelings. Watching the planes take off, land and circle, as the snow begins to blow I am reminded that I haven’t had a vacation in eons. As freelancers Hubby and I are always on call, living shift to shift, answering every call to arms. Okay, let’s not get dramatic, but seriously, I found myself getting jealous of the passengers in taxis, knowing their luggage was packed with swim suits and sunscreen. *Foot stomp! The work-a-day Joes all around me taking advantage of their vacation days. My parents spent a week in sunny Costa Rica. Friends of mine are wintering in tinsel trimmed LA. Even folks honeymooning in not so tropical Europe. Purchasing last minute steal of a deals to get out of snowy and wind burnt Dodge. For those of us who can’t afford a getaway what can we do? How do you relax when you can’t go on vacation? These questions burn more than my frostbitten cheeks.
Rest, relaxation and rejuvenation are essential to living happily. Now, that’s not to say that travelling abroad is automatically restful. Most people I know complain the week before vacation that they have so much to do before they leave and then complain again the week they’re back, because they have so much work to catch up on. Others say they need a vacation from their vacation. Once you get where you’re going it takes 2 days to unwind from the stress of travelling and that doesn’t include jet lag. People complain about the cost of travel. Tourist destinations swamped with visitors who wish the place they’re visiting was the place they left. The human condition is such that we are never happy. Once you get what you want, you don’t want it. Typical malaise.
In the past when travelling for vacation, I’ve worked hard to relax, release and leave my unwanted baggage at home. This is the most difficult part of vacation. Just relaxing. Knowing that a mojito soaked sunburn isn’t in my near future, I will be brave. Friends, bloggers and world travellers alike, harken to this: Take a vacation everyday. Go to your happy place, you might not get as much vitamin D, but your soul will be ready to take the trip. Bring home souvenirs from day dreams to remind yourself that life is good. Easier said than done of course, but what is life without effort? So, as I stare wistfully at the open skies, I remind myself that vacation is a state of mind. And the taxes and fees don’t apply.