Lately, I have been craving a little relaxation. Maybe it’s the return of the warm Summer air or the smell of rain on the pavement after a fleeting storm, but it feels like the Universe is commanding me to sit still for a while and enjoy the little things.
I have trouble doing that in my everyday life. There is always something to sticky to be wiped down (a countertop, a doorknob, a child’s face), a practice to attend, an item demanding that it be crossed off my endless list of tasks. The simple joys are lost in the roar of the mighty routine.
This fact alone is enough to pen “Take a vacation!!” in permanent red ink at the top of my list. There is nothing like a days long trip to remind me that I should be living life, not just surviving it.
As I mentioned before, my husband and I take a cruise together every year. It is key to the health of our marriage that we set aside time to reconnect. Those few moments of precious silence at night after the kids have gone to sleep and just before we collapse exhausted into bed are great and all, but stepping out of our mom and dad shoes and putting our toes in the sand enables us to get back in touch with the people we were when we first got together.
In the spirit of slowing down, my favorite cruise was the one we took most recently. Normally when planning a cruise we place our focus on the activities and shore excursions that are available at each destination. From snorkeling, to surfing, to exploring the ruins of ancient cities — there is always something exciting that catches our eye at each port of call. In fact, we once planned an entire cruise around shore excursions.
However, that was not the case for our most recent cruise. Before we ever set sail for the Bahamas, we agreed that on this trip we were going to do as little as possible and it was glorious. We sunbathed while drinking fruity drinks. We took long afternoon naps followed by late dinners.
At each port we got off the boat with no particular agenda. We strolled the streets hand in hand, stopping to peruse the local shops. It was completely against my control freak, type A personality, and it was exactly what I needed to let go of all the stress brought on by months of racing headlong through the days and weeks.
When we got off the boat I felt refreshed, well-rested, and (bonus!) tan. Those five days of do nothing were enough to carry me through the frenetic months that followed. While there is a lot to be said for an action-packed vacation, I cannot recommend highly enough the benefits of being lavishly lazy.