Today, J and I will be heading to the East Coast (CT, Cape Cod, Boston) on our first real vacation in like, forever. To say that I am stoked is the understatement of the century. We’re going to see some dear friends, hang out in my favorite city in the whole world, relax on the beach (I am hoping for a whale watching trip, too) and just spend some quality time together.
We have been together for 10 years and in all those years haven’t had a real vacation together, can you believe that?
I mean, have I mentioned before that J and I never even had a honeymoon?
When we got married, there was just no money and no time for a honeymoon. We had to deal with (costly) visa-related issues, I had been working an intern position and J was fresh out of college. And after having our beautiful wedding in Germany, we just didn’t have the funds to tag on a honeymoon in a romantic far-away place. So, we postponed our honeymoon and I am not saying that this vacation is going to be our (belated)honeymoon, because I have something else in mind for that, but it definitely will come closest to a honeymoon-like vacation for just J and me.
Of course, we’ve been to places together. If nothing else, we’ve been to Germany a few times and have taken short trips (as in a couple of days) here and there, but none of those trips I would call ‘real vacations’.
I mean, you tell me what you think of when you think of a real vacation?
I bet, you’re thinking sunshine, beach, exploring far away places, sleeping in and just doing nothing. Correct?
It’s not surprising that this is one of the first images that comes to mind, when you think about the word “vacation” (unless you grew up on the ocean, of course and then it might still be an image you associate with vacation).
Well, that leaves a lot to be desired from this official definition.
- a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel; recess or holiday
- a part of the year, regularly set aside, when normal activities of law courts, legislatures, etc., are suspended.
- freedom or release from duty, business, or activity.
- an act or instance of vacating.
Aside from these definitions, there is another definition missing which uses the specific words of relaxation and restoration of our bodies and minds to full working capacity. Because that is what vacations are supposed to be doing, provide recovery from strenuous weeks at work. Vacations are supposed to refresh our bodies and minds by experiencing, doing, seeing things that we usually don’t experience, do, see on a daily basis. Vacations are supposed to let our minds wonder, to let our eyes travel and to open our hearts to the beauty that the world has to offer. It also means to fully detach from our daily grind.
So, when I talk about a “real” vacation, I don’t mean a “weekend getaway” (although those are nice and I love taking weekend trips!) and I don’t mean trips to Europe to visit my family. As much as we LOVE spending time in Germany with family and friends, it can be hardly called “vacation” in the sense that it is a time to relax and recuperate because, I never really feel fully relaxed when I return from vacation. That is partly due to the fact that my vacations at home are always packed to the brim with activities and get-togethers.
When you want me to call something a real vacation, a couple of requirements come to mind:
a) I need it to be at least a week long (sorry, but in my mind, everything under a week cannot be called vacation),
b) it needs to takes us somewhere, where we’re not staying with family or friends for
the whole most of the time, and
c) most of all, I want to spend quality time with J and see and experience new things together.
I need time to sleep in (if I want to), to relax, to explore, to eat well and to just be.
It’s probably going to be a little quiet here for the next 10 days (but I am hoping to update a couple of times from the road).
So long, my friends! Have a great start into the summer and a fun 4th of July holiday!