It’s not a vacation if you can’t take a day off!
After a lifetime of vacations that were over scheduled and exhausting, I received a revelation during our recent stay in Venice. I realized that as much as I wanted to enjoy Venice every moment we were there, I was looking for more than non-stop sightseeing. I don’t know what to call it; maybe just recharging my batteries or time to develop other dimensions of my life but you might call it ‘taking some time off’. I took a serious book with the idea of spending afternoons reading someplace exotic (surely any place in Venice qualifies as exotic). I took my sketchbook and drawing materials with the intention of drawing when the spirit moved me. Neither of those things happened. Now it is time to figure out why.
Like all our other vacations, I felt a compulsion to sight-see. Venice is so rich in interest that I never considered taking a day- or even an afternoon off despite booking ten days in Venice, way longer than most tourist visits. I was surprised to find that this longer time didn’t change my compulsion.. Either ten days just wasn’t enough or maybe there was another problem. We thought that more time would help us relax and enjoy ourselves more. The original thought was a month. We settled on ten days because:
1. That’s how how far our money would stretch.
2. We questioned our stamina for a longer trip.
Ten days seemed like an extravagant amount of time to spend in one city. When we actually reached Venice, however, ten days passed very quickly. Just as we began to feel really comfortable with the Venetian lifestyle, we were packing to leave. Ten days was only a teaser. We could easily have stayed a month- if we had the money.
But it was more than time!
And maybe we would have relaxed. A longer trip might have made it possible to enjoy some afternoons of reading and drawing that I anticipated. Maybe , my compulsion to see and do things would have slowed on a longer trip. It’s certainly possible but I think there is another problem- my attitude about vacations. I treat them like a job. I make a schedule and drive myself to keep it. Two days, ten days, a month, I don’t think that I know how to to let go. There is a compulsion about vacations that I drives me. There are always more things to see and do. I just can’t take time off.
Then there is the Lifestyle problem.
My wife tells me that there is another problem that relates to drawing. She says that I need to have a pattern of the activities before the trip. Since I don’t have a regular pattern of drawing when I am at home, I don’t work it into my vacation schedule. I won’t become a drawer unless I draw and I won’t draw unless I work it into my regular schedule. I never have time to draw at home so why would I have time on vacation?
She makes a good point. It comes back to lifestyle design, or retirement lifestyle design. How do I want to live? It is not enough to decide that I want to draw. I have to make it happen by making a practice of drawing on a regular basis. If it it not part of your lifestyle at home, it isn’t likely to be part of your lifestyle on vacation.
But maybe it is even more complicated!
Maybe the idea of vacation is wrong. I don’t really want a vacation like I have always known them. I want a lifestyle that includes travel to different places and gives me variety and stimulation. I don’t want a break from regular life. I want a richer regular life that takes me around the world. I clearly need some study to sort this out. I think that I’m really only scratching the surface of this lifestyle design thing. I still have to work out how I really want to live. I need my regular life to become richer and I need to lean how to make that lifestyle portable. I don’t want to be a tourist. I want to be a traveler. Right now I make a distinction between normal life and travel. Where I want to be is where normal means spending extended periods of time in different places. There won’t be two lifestyles. I must find a lifestyle that accommodates many locations and different activity levels. There is more work to do. I clearly haven’t got it figured out yet.
Originally posted 2012-03-23 04:51:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter