Vacation, vacation, vacation!! How grand is anticipation?
Anticipation is a big, candle-lit birthday cake coming towards you very
slowly, one step at a a time, carried by a wild-eyed and excited hero
from your childhood, only without the overwhelming anxiety that leads
me to crawl under the table to hide or run up the stairs crying.
It's moment after moment of building up that delight. I can't
think of anything more motivating and wonderful than a materializing trip
that I have to look forward to for months. If I was Ally McBeal,
I'd be walking along to my theme song of "Two of Us"
by my man, Mr. The Beatles, and indeed, thanks to Spotify, I have been.
I have struggled with thoughts of whether or not my excitement
for travel is appropriate. Is my life the Hades to my Persephone?
Because gross. Am I happy because I think I will be escaping my life?
What even IS life if we can't just enjoy BEING here? Can you sit on your
couch with the windows open, looking outside and just feel the
pleasurable sensation of being alive? Have you ever had a massage
and thought of how lucky we are to exist, lying on some table,
feeling utterly overwhelmed with how magnificent a squished muscle and
human contact can feel? Well, I don't know about you, but I definitely
can and have and so I feel it is totally reasonable and healthy to
benefit from a break in daily routine that is not at all comparable
to a drinking problem.
I used to go to Disney World and weep wholeheartedly upon
returning to what felt like a futile, grey, and meaningless existence
in a confusing land that had no toons, which was NOT RIGHT. I think
THAT is something to watch out for, but otherwise, looking forward to
and lamenting the end of an exquisite vacation is totally fine!
I have spoken with Rufus about this and he agrees completely.
Now, bear with me here as this may be hard to believe,
but I know of people - real world people with feelings - who work
and work and save up their vacation time and don't use any of it to
go anywhere. Ever. How can you NOT want to use your vacation time?
When you stick to the same day to day patterns for years, they will
most certainly lose their luster and, even though they're actually
quite nice as far as routines go, you will come to hate them or, worse,
forget there ever was anything else out there that you once wanted.
Breaking the norm allows a healthy reset AND a perspective on a new environment
or culture. We need stimulation. Our brains are ridiculous and incessantly
puzzling. Our brains are Andy Kaufman. Our brains are what Bill
Murray whispers to Scarlet Johanssen at the end of Lost in Translation.
Our brains are the universe and its total coyness over whether its finite or
infinite. "Oh, you. A lady never tells tee hee!" What are we? What
IS this? Well, I can tell you one thing and it's that we can't live
like ants and be mentally stable. I don't even need my bio degree to
tell you that.
Besides delivering your future self from work-life imbalance doldrum hell,
the benefits of travel are undeniable. Nod your head to this list and say
YES to life!
A break in routine offers a reset and allows you to wake up feeling
refreshed and stay awake for your daily life. People gravitate towards
those that appear to be the most alive.
Seeing something new provides endless new topics of conversation.
There's only so much that can be said about what's going on at work
or in your favorite show and what to eat for dinner at Chili's.
Spice up your life. Literally. Maybe you'll get the shits, but
you'll definitely get a good crowd pleaser.
You will think something new - at least one new thing will enter
your mind as a result of travel and you will change! Whoever said change
was a bad thing? I want to know who that was, so I can show
them a film. It's called, "Look at me when I was 20. See that?
Sobbing over nothing much at all? Isn't it sad? Good thing
I never changed!" I hope he understands sarcasm, but given what
I know about his philosophies thus far, I wouldn't bet anything
valuable on that.
You will increase your flexibility in being comfortable
outside of your home space. This is a big one to me. From airports
and planes, to drive times, accommodations, or crowds, how many
experiences might we miss out on in our lives for fear of temporary
discomfort? In my hell, I'd be hot and humid and trying to get
ready to go too soon. This is something I've gotten less crazed
about when it does happen to me though, because I have traveled outside
of perfect comfort, gone without showering, had to let my hair
go wild, and - guess what - I still had a great time! Camping is
a prime example and form of practice I think and I missed out on
years because I thought I'd hate it. We get used to particular
conditions and quantities of space with certain amenities that we
convince ourselves are necessary for a good experience. As soon
as we see a plane is fully booked or a hotel is "small", it's,
"Ugh, this is the worst. I need to tell everyone right now," but how
much time should you even be spending there? And who cares?
It's about letting go of material expectations, as undeniably
comfortable to have as they are, and having an experience. Step
out of your self-made terrarium and let loose! Get a little dirty!
Have fun! I'm speaking from experience, but also as someone who has
booked an open air cabin for my upcoming rainforest vacation. I'll be sure to
come back and promptly delete this should any unusually-sized
arachnids present themselves to me whilst there. I will retract
my statement in full. THERE ARE LIMITS AND THEY USUALLY STOP AT SIX LEGS.
I also won't kill a spider without feeling the guilt of taking
a life from this earth, so this is a double predicament for me. I live in
Texas, though, so my threshold is fairly high. We have these little friends...
Restore faith in your own daily life. I will come back from my
next vacation with a clear reminder that the world is much bigger
than my work. The time I spend at my job will not be eternal and
there is a lot about it to enjoy. It strengthens my appreciation
by bringing a sense of impermanence to everything. If you really
hate your job, it's also a reminder that you can just sell
everything and go bartend in Costa Rica! Luckily, I love my
job, so I'll just be goddamn delightful for my coworkers.
Anticipation is one hell of a drug. As I stated before,
if happiness could be harnessed as a form of energy, I could provide
power equivalent to a whole school full of children on Christmas morning
with a vacation to look forward to. Planning is a blast, free time
thoughts drift to daydreams of riding waves, and petty differences
throughout the days leading up to it are kept in perspective.
Go ahead. Eat my lunch or tap that little shut down button on my
computer without letting me save anything with a Ted Cruz-worthy
smirk on your face. I'm going on vacation and I have been straight
glamping at Anticipation Station for a month! Woowoo! I have arrived,
you beastly instigator, and so I accept and love you as a fellow
traveler in the womb of our mother earth. Costa Rica comes soon
and my brain is releasing enough serotonin to rival all the
flower-power of Woodstock with the fibers of my existence.
The benefits are countless beyond this, but maybe they're not because
my list is done. I just feel very strongly about the power of travel to
improve your outlook, attitude, mindfulness, and quality as a citizen
of the world and I wish for everyone to do it. About 42% of Americans
have passports - a number that should be far greater if you ask me!
So, do yourself a favor and get a move on. The world is waiting!