Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

Sigh. We have hit the vacation doldrums. We just planned the trip to New York; my return to work is rapidly approaching, and we have no idea what the vacation future holds, or really what the future past New York holds. Vacation planning keeps me going. It’s a way of exploring while living daily life.

Image result for question markSteven would like to go to Asia. Hmmm, can he be more specific? I have been to China, but nowhere else in Asia. He hasn’t been there at all. Perhaps in a few months, when frostbite seems inevitable here in Chicago, heading to south Asia in the summer will seem like a brilliant plan. Now, not so much.

Vacation unknowns open up a world (literally, used in the correct sense) of possibilities. Where in the world to go next? So many options; so many wonderful places yet to explore. What’s down that road? How can we get there from here? What’s nearby that we can explore? What will tomorrow bring? These are the unknowns I am comfortable with. Those same questions when applied to my daily life, I’m not so comfortable with. Why can’t I engineer my life to the degree that I engineer my vacations and then sit back and enjoy the ride? Steven is much better at this than I am.

I’m trying to learn from him. Really, I am!

The Space Between the Plans

Steven and I are both planners, but in very different ways. My planning: “Hey this looks really cool. Kayak to Gilligan’s Island. Let’s go!” Then I am done. Steven, as you saw, makes spreadsheets. I kind of have a spreadsheet in my head—more of a “these are the things I want to do while I’m there list,” but I also like to remain flexible. Steven is afraid we might have a minute of downtime and then what???. So terrible to have to walk on the beach in the tropical sun or explore some cheap eats for lunch. When I suggested that we might want to have a cocktail at sunset, he said, “I scheduled that in.”

explorerI had to remind him that when his car broke down in Crofton, Neb., (pop. 689) where we had stopped to stay at the allegedly-haunted Argo Hotel (we didn’t see the ghost), we managed to occupy ourselves for an entire day. I think we’ll be fine on Maui. Don’t get me wrong; I’m definitely not one for sitting around, but I like some free, wander time. You never know what you’re going to find if you leave yourself open to last-minute exploration and maybe even a bit of downtime.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be either president or an explorer. I wised up about the first one, but I’m still trying to be the second. What’s over that hill? We won’t know unless we climb it. (OK, or Google it, but that’s no fun.)