Life as Vacation
"Life is meant to be as intentioned, meaningful and eventful
as any vacation you would plan for yourself."
There's a type of light in the sky that denotes the beginning or an earliness in the day that is full of space and opportunity. Days like that imply a humility and openness towards any and all happenings most appreciated on a day off. In a similar way, vacations are filled with possibility, impending pleasure, rest and adventure. As such, time is the commodity that I have always valued most because space to create and do what one needs for self— to BE, restore, reboot and focus on whatever... is priceless. Life is to be like a series of vacations, and special journeys towards new perspectives and understandings. Well, that's my philosophy. The five-year old in me easily equates vacation with all the potential and excitement that exists in childhood through anticipation, exploration and dreams. My childhood was fun and busy. I played hard, worked hard and enjoyed most of the things that I did. For me, there is a freedom that is experienced in childhood adventures free of restrictions and responsibility. That for me, is naturally aligned with the open ended sense of energy that is felt in summertime, and what I relate to even as an adult. Within what is considered free space, growth is fostered by relaxed energy, intoxication and wonder that coincides with these ideals and the concepts behind what vacations actually are, and all that they can provide.
My family used to road trip a lot when I was a kid. One of my most visceral memories is of being gently rocked out of sleep by the slowed and forward momentum of the car and its acceleration into the gas station just as the wafting aroma of gasoline simultaneously flooded my nostrils. This sensation has stayed with me since. I still love road trips, being a passenger — and for me, the smell of gasoline is still quite nostalgic. Some of the things that sustain me most in my adult life are the many experiences of my childhood that are powerful in their memory. The relationships we have with our childhood and that sense of adventure stays with us to shape who we become. Here, pleasure and passion lie within those memories creating a fire that will foster more. And in that way, all experiences that act as a 'break' from the norm, are relevant whether we're on a traditional vacation or not, thus informing our lives forever.
Because my family spent most of my childhood living in Minnesota and my grandparents lived in Florida, we made that trip south each year for our Christmas vacation. When my sister and I were babies, the family flew, but as we got a bit older, we piled suitcases, pillows, food, crayons and coloring books into the car for the long ride. I loved those trips, the adventure of riding in the car, watching the scenery change, sleeping, reading and drawing/coloring with everything and everyone I needed packed tightly around me and within arm’s reach. As a result, I also like to pack. Packing is fun anticipation...while unpacking is not, (but that's another story). You must always carry what you need towards whatever your destination or goals happen to be. I thoroughly enjoy making sure that I am prepared with the necessary items for any trip, even if it's just for the day. What we consider taking when we travel are precisely the items that we must value in our everyday lives. When we have what we think we will need, we can relax in the comfort of having the necessary tools as we approach our daily journeys— or vacations..
By definition, vacation (according to google dictionary) is...
1. an extended period of recreation, especially one spent away from home or in traveling.
synonyms: break, time off, recess, leave, leave of absence, furlough, sabbatical, spring break;
a fixed holiday period between terms in schools and law courts.
2. the action of leaving something one previously occupied.
1. take a vacation.
synonyms:travel, tour, stay, visit, stop over
I would add that a vacation is also an informative time of transition between one experience or state of being to the next. And in that spirit of a definition, a vacation, that is in line with its intention, purpose or goal can even be a small, short term or minuscule experience that provides a change in perspective, an altered state or sense of relief from what was previously happening. This magic can occur at any time without travel to offer up inspiration and rest for us to draw upon within our own daily routines.
When we imagine ourselves on vacation, we imagine our better selves in that ideal environment away from our regular everyday life. We are happier, lighter, less burdened and free. What if we can contribute to that ideal without leaving home? Approaching life as if it were a vacation means filling your days with practical items, your interests, experiences that excite, educate and make you better. Things that will replenish and nurture you, make you happy and offer the opportunity to view nature and contemplate life. Explore and be aware of your surroundings. Watch people, empathize, don't judge, and notice your thoughts and reactions. What do they tell you about where you are and what you're feeling? Live as you. Do what resonates for you, to you, about you, so that you can be centered, whole and do good for others. Contribute to society out of your gifts, skills and interests whenever and however you can. What you'll receive from that in the end will be a healthy keep sake or souvenir and memory of your time and endeavors.
When planning your life's vacations, (big or small), consider these 7 things and make your plan...
1 - Why? Relevance or Point of your trip or project? Establish Your Focus and Attitude for Your Time
2- When? Short or Long Term - Make Space. Set your dates.
3- What kind of Trip is this to be? Include time for Fun & Play (or what's the point, right?)
4- With Whom? —Don't travel with anyone who's gonna drag you down. Also, sometimes you really do need to travel alone.
5- Where to / Destination? Plan your Itinerary (Make it good. No regrets. You only live once!)
6- Tools? Be Prepared & Pack What You Need
7- Souvenirs - What can you take away? What did you learn? What Are You Most Moved By or Left with as a Reminder or Keep Sake?
Life is meant to be as intentioned, meaningful and eventful as any vacation you would plan for yourself. Remember that your entire life is your trip. Make it about you, your needs and interests towards growth. Make your daily plans...What can you get out of them? Well, that is completely up to you.