Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Does Anyone Want A Vacation?

Does anyone want a vacation as badly as I do? I don't know what it is. It seems to happen at this time every year. The weather starts to warm up, the sun shows up and all of a sudden, the calendar is turning quickly into the best and brightest months, that magical triad of June, July and August. It seems right around the corner. Like a big sigh of relief after a dreary and grey winter. Mind you, this winter wasn't nearly as bad as winters in the past have been, but still, it's nice to see winter go, even if it's a mild one.

When the weather starts to get nice and the calendar starts to turn, my brain goes to total mush. I know that they say that thing about how spring happens and every young person's fancy turns to love, but it does feel something like that. Things feel light, promising, full of potential. And then our thoughts trail off to baseball, barbecues, flowers, farmer's markets, patios, bike rides, long walks by the river, beaches, picnics, cold beer, swimming, cabins, iced cappuccinos, shorts, sandals and long lazy days under the sun.


It's hard to concentrate on days like this. It's hard to think of anything else other than just sitting back in a lounge chair with a good book or hanging out on a patio with friends and a pitcher.

And as the summer looms large and things wind down, the big question is not whether or not you will go on vacation, but where you will go. Will it be a stay-cation in the tight economy? Will it be a short mini break a few hours drive away to explore a new region or new restaurants? Will it be a prolonged stay at the family cottage? Or will it be the year of adventure with a trip to Europe somewhere beautiful that you've always wanted to go?

I love to travel because I love how it opens up the world to us. I love the sense of adventure and thrill to be placed somewhere which is out of context and to take in the various sights, sounds and smells of different places, to hear new languages trickling in your ear like poetry. I love the sense of weightlessness that comes with being in transit, knowing that it's so easy to lose ourselves in the vastness of the world and encounter something unexpected, strange and beautiful. I also love how it can change our perceptions, from the very simplest things like what we eat to the very complex, like who we are and what defines us.

And for the weary traveller that ventures out in search of the world and in search of themselves, one of the best discoveries can be home. Nothing makes you appreciate it more. That reason alone is worth taking the trip.

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