The ‘real’ vacation starts when you exhaust your things to see list.
Today everybody is programmed. We afraid of spontaneity, terrified of making a mistake or looking foolish. We can’t go with the flow, ‘wing it’ or ‘let it all hang out’… Without a schedule or a to do list, we are lost. Vacations are no exception. Vacations should be time for refreshing jaded minds, discovering new adventures and escaping routines unfortunately most of the time we take the same programmed mentality along when we vacation.That is when Outrageous Travel Lesson 4 becomes important.
We turn a vacation into a variation of work. We plan for efficiency and making the best use of resources. We want to get our money’s worth and see and do everything possible in the limited time frame. We end up exhausted, frustrated and unsatisfied and come home needing a rest. That’s not a vacation. It is time for a travel lesson.
The truth is that it is hard to break out of work mentality. Modern life conditions us to reject a casual approach to living. It you don’t have a ten point plan then you are an irresponsible wastrel and most of us just can’t take the heat. We train ourselves to be responsible and programmed 24/7. That’s what makes the one month vacation so beautiful. When you spend one month in one place, you will find that you get to the bottom of your to do list. You run out of program; your over-organized lifestyle hits the end of the line and you are forced to come up with alternatives. It is hard at first. My first idea was to stay in bed but eventually even that gets old and you start doing what you want instead of what you think you ought.
Some of the best days on our recent vacation in Buenos Aires were when we woke up and didn’t know what to do. This usually meant a relaxing coffee at the corner shop while we considered options- things we hadn’t considered important enough to put on our list, places we had visited but hadn’t exhausted or taking a different perspective like exploring the side streets in our neighborhood, writing in my journal or sketching. We were beginning to enjoy outrageous travel as we were learning this travel lesson.
I’ll admit to my difficulties here. While I fantasized about spending hours sketching or writing about my experiences, doing those things was more difficult. I resisted wasting the time on non-productive activities. I had difficulty in grasping the greater benefit from letting go. Over time it happened but it was only because we stayed for one month. Sometimes it isn’t easy learning a travel lesson but with an outrageous travel schedule spending one month away, it comes easier.