Saturday, July 18, 2009


I love this -- in the last few days I have packed a full set of suitcases for:

* hot California summer
* snowy NZ winter

and there wasn't a single item of overlap so I could pack the suitcases and let them sit at the front door waiting.

Like big wrapped presents.

Without bows.

Even better.

See, I don't like vacations for the act of vacationing, as says, "a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest." Vacations seem to indicate a dislike of the regular day-to-day lives and a desire to get away, escape the grind. While I admit this last year has been the most difficult of my life (by a long shot) I don't view vacations as the stereotypical get-away.

I remember when we lived in suburbia and everyone was taking off on their summer / winter vacations and I thought, "Wow, only a few weeks a year is 'the good life'. Eeep." It seemed more valuable to invest in making every day fulfilling so that the craving to disappear on vacation, to suspend that work, is not what drives you the other 350-ish days of the year.

So, I try (although not all that successfully) to build an everyday life that is fulfilling enough so that "vacations" can be used for another purpose.

Care to guess what?

What else could a vacation be? Other than relaxation?

Think back to when you were five... Exploration! Discovery! Feeling the texture of the earth in a new place, new playground. Wondering at the new sky, letting that sense of awe wash over you as you relished your power to navigate the world.

For me, a trip feels more like the first time I walked on two legs. It's an amazing feeling. It's more of a study, a turning on of a switch, not the turning off that the word "vacation" implies.

Now, that does sound hokey, I'm sure, but it is wonderfully true. I love "vacations". I just wish they didn't have such a Lazy Joe name to them.. "Vacations" sound boring. What about "explorations" or "bouncing arounds"?

Or maybe I should just get back to prepping the house for my absence. 1/2 the family is staying home, so it's not a big deal, but still. I love leaving things clean. I don't care what it looks like when I get back, just as long as I can walk out the front door with the sight of a clean home as that last visual impression stored in memory.