I Need a Vacation From Travel
The school year was drawing to a close. Stress levels were finally declining. Flight reservations were confirmed. The Great Icelandic Adventure was set to begin in less than 2 weeks.
Holy crap, we’re going to Iceland? We should probably make some plans. We get busy. We book the Rejkavik guesthouse. We find a build-your-own-route car rental that will book farmhouse stays for you along the way. Sweet. Emails sent. Itinerary revised. All set. Ready for payment?
Wait. Farmhouses. Animals. Allergies.
Reservations re-revised. Hotel options presented. HUGE price difference. Might be worth it. Might not.
In the meantime, one week left.
Trying to ignore the encroaching panic. Doing pretty well.
Fate provided us with a day off in the middle of the second-to-last school day before summer. Finally a morning to spend out and about. I come back from a yoga class to find my fellow traveler calmly mouthing these words.
“Let’s not go to Iceland.”
He’s obviously been contemplating all morning. Probably all month.
“Let’s go somewhere we can relax. Where we don’t have to plan anything. Where we can just BE.”
Exactly what I was thinking.
I want to sleep in. I want to read in bed and not feel guilty. I want to take walks. I want to ride a bike. I want to go to the park. I want spend all afternoon reading in the grass. I want to sit in cafes. I want to sip coffee. I want to read articles endlessly on whatever electronic device I choose. I want to write. I want to eat superb food. Everyday. I want to hear live music. I don’t have to go to every concert, I just want to have the option. I want to wander aimlessly through narrow, romantic streets. I want to windowshop in vintage and antique stores. I want to rummage through treasures at flea markets.
So here I am. In A’dam. It’s been a perfect day of sleeping in after a 12:30 am youth lagoon concert, meandering by the canals, lounging in the park, and just enjoying the scenery on a detour.
But am I being too lazy? Am I missing out on the exciting travel memories I haven’t yet experienced? How can I justify two weeks of not truly traveling?
Here is my reasoning. I’ve decided I’m happy with it.
When I need to travel.
Sometimes life can seem dull. Sometimes (okay, often) I can get restless. When my daily scenery becomes lovable but familiar, I itch to have a new experience. I want to see new places, I want to learn more history by seeing it for myself and understanding what the place FEELS like. I want to trek through pristine wilderness, whether mountain trails, vast deserts, wild forests. Sometimes I want to explore a city’s nightlife, subway system, and see how much I can retain of whatever foreign language currently surrounds me. I want to say hello to the local residents who are graciously hosting me in their country. Sometimes I want to be a cheesy tourists and take photos in bright red telephone booths. Sometimes I want to sit on the obnoxious hop-on-hop-off bus. Sometimes I want to scrutinize a map and nerdily mark all the landmarks I want to hit in one day. Sometimes I want to let the map get buried underneath my Hermione-like purse and forget about it. Sometimes I want to get lost.
Sometimes I just can’t sit still.
When I need a vacation.
Sometimes every day life is like a stress volcano. Sometimes it finally erupts. The deadly effects overflow and make a mess. The soul purges. And then, everything calms down. The beast needs to cool. The soul needs to rest.
Sometimes I want to pretend that I live in a cutesy, trendy neighborhood filled with historical architecture, my favorite morning cafe, and my favorite afternoon ice-cream stand. Sometimes I want to pretend I live in an apartment with a balcony overlooking the shops below. Some days I want to hang my clothes in a closet rather than rummage through a suitcase. Sometimes I want to become familiar with a place. Sometimes I want to feel a sense of ownership in this foreign locale.
As a TCK, I don’t have one home. Every place is a potential new home. I just need to take the time to discover it.