Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Power of Vacation

I ended 2015 with the attitude of, "F&*k it, I do what I want." After a year, of doing things to set myself up for a healthy pregnancy and future child, and then having that not happen, I commissioned 2016 as "Jewel's Year of Fun."  This is exactly what I told my transplant nephrologist when I told him I was taking my second vacation of the 2016 in March.  Yes, my second.

We were just nine days into this year, when I told Ben one night that I'd just used the AWESOME AMAZING Hopper app to buy us plane tickets to Mexico. An alert popped up on my phone letting me know that prices for roundtrip flights to Cancun had dropped to a level that I could not ignore.  Life can change in mere seconds or minutes, right?  Well, within 20 minutes, Ben and I went from people who were most likely spending Valentine's Day (also known as my birthday) in cold Virginia weather--making dinner at home or doing something with my family to avoid the metro crowd--to people who were jetting off to warm and sunny Cancun on Feb. 14.  

After buying our flights, I booked us a condo in Playa del Carmen. We requested time off from work. And just like that, we had a vacation planned.  


This is not my typical MO.  We live in an expensive area.  I have health issues. And I still have student loans. So, we try to live pretty frugally. We love traveling, but most of our trips are planned, budgeted out and paid for about four to six months in advance.  But scheduling this trip, just a month before we went, was so thrilling. And we didn't put too much pressure on ourselves about the location. We just wanted to RELAX, do mostly nothing (kind of a first for us), with one excursion planned, and eat and drink A LOT.  Just because nothing was holding us back.

I know traveling and taking vacations is really a luxury. My closest friends happen to be people who also love traveling and regularly leave the state or country for work or pleasure.  The idea of not taking ANY trips is abnormal to us.  But once I leave our little bubble of wanderlusters I'm reminded prioritizing travel isn't a real requirement for most people. This is especially true for some of my friends who have children.

Because I DON'T have children, I was able to leave my husband and hop onto a second vacation with my girlfriends, just a month after Ben and I returned from Mexico.  We went to Punta Cana for five days.  And the entire trip will be unforgettable.  

I love where I live.  But I also love the feeling of leaving for a short period time.  It's not always about the destination either. So much of the lure of vacation for me is the freedom I have to just be able to get out and go. To leave the office and my cluttered Outlook inbox. To leave the unopened bills on my dining room table.  And to leave the mess and stress of my life, sometimes. I don't want anyone to read this and think "OHHH well, must be nice to escape the pain of your miscarriage with money and airplanes."  That's not what it's about. I've never viewed traveling as a way to run away from your life or home or problems. When I travel, I feel like I gain a new perspective and a new outlook on things at home. And a new appreciation for where I come from and for whatever phase of life I'm in.  

I don't have any getaways planned for the next couple of months. But I'm challenging myself to try to take the parts that I love so much from my vacations and add them to my everyday life.  My normal life...the one where I'm not drinking on the beach and eating gourmet meals on a boat in the middle of the ocean.  

I don't live on a beach, and I definitely don't have a boat. But I do have liquor.  I think I'm off to a good start.