Leaping into Vacation

August 10, 2012

I happen to live in a vacation spot. People come here from all over the world to visit our beautiful beaches and get into the relaxing island vibe that says “I am on holiday.” But as lovely as it is, us islanders need to take a vacation from our vacation land every now and then.

            So what do we do? We take a weekend trip to our neighbors at sea: The Virgin Islands. Only 100 miles and a 90 dollar plane ticket away from where I live, these islands are the perfect escape when life gets a bit overwhelming.

            Yet, as budget friendly and tempting it is to spend the weekend on white sanded beaches with a tropical drink in hand, I can’t seem to just say yes without first coming up with a string of excuses.

            I don’t have time off from work. I am saving money for other things. My body is so not ready for swim suit season, much less bikini season. I have no one to leave my dogs with. I need to visit relatives. The list can be endless.

            It’s almost as if I need to feel bad first by listing all the responsibilities I have before I can indulge in a stress free weekend. Maybe it’s because I haven't paid enough dues that call for a needed holiday like most people do and I’m afraid they’ll say “She’s going on vacation? What for?” Maybe it’s because I just waste too much of my time worrying about what people think, but I can’t seem to commit to my holiday unless someone else convinces me I deserve it.

            Why is that? Why must we feel like we need to work incredibly hard so we can earn a proper time out from everything we deal with? Why is thinking only about you for a few days an immediate guilt trip?

            As the list of excuses reached the 20th item, I knew I had to just shake myself and say “What are you doing? Stop making yourself feel bad for doing what you want!” And really, when a friend says they want you to come on a four day boat trip with them to the colorful British Islands… you just say yes.

            And I crushed my excuse list into a ball, threw it out and headed for the Islands. 

The Beginning

August 05, 2012

I was at work sitting on an old squeaky chair, facing my dated soon-to-be-thrown-out desk, looking at the same papers and pens I had for the past eight months when I suddenly had a glimpse of my future.

        I saw myself three years from now, still working in the same run down office, sitting in the old chair, counting down the hours until I could go home. The same thing, same place every day because that’s what a full time job is about.

        It was this image of a socially acceptable cage built out of trivial responsibilities and utter dullness that ignited cold and brutal panic in me, the kind that makes you want to do something drastic and stupid because at least then you’d free of the boring foreseeable future of steady pay checks and zero creativity.

        I took one more look at my square surroundings, so unlike me and confining, and I felt completely sure that a lifetime of settling was never going to be enough. If I stayed, I would have to let go of what I wanted for what I thought I needed to do. 

        There were so many things I wanted to do, so many places I wanted to escape to, places that would take my breath away and teach me about culture and people. I wanted to see the Machu Pichu, to walk for three days until I made it to the top and took in the view of this forgotten city. I wanted to dive into the beaches of Mikonos in Greece and float in the water; to live in New York City, backpack through Europe. 

        It wasn’t just about traveling to all the beautiful places in the world, but to find wonder and adventure in everything I did, whether it was going on two month trip or just visit the art museum I pass by every day to work. 

        A whole world of beauty and discoveries was just at arm’s reach, far away from the socially accepted and the cookie cutter idea of what life should be. It was full of amazing things, great or small, created by God and men, all equal in their splendour.

        As I kept thinking of all the adventures I wanted to have, all the countries I wanted to visit, I no longer felt panic but a fire in my heart that ignited the courage I needed to escape the everyday life and dive into the world, so vast and daunting but so full of promise and wonders that were meant to fill out the pages of my life.