02 December 2008

Vacations are necessary....

I am convinced of this fact. We all need time to get away, step out of our routines, and enjoy what life has to offer. I am always reminded of this when I go on vacation and talk to other people who are also on vacation. And after yesterday, I am even more convinced of this.

You mighta heard a rumor that I am on vacation in sunny Puerto Vallarta Mexico with my godsister, Linda. Yesterday, we journeyed off the resort and took a "Tropical Tour" of the city of PV with the touring company, Tani Buses. We met some very interesting people who just confirmed my belief about vacations being necessary.

Like Chuck from Sacremento, who was traveling alone, but who joined Lin and I for lunch. In his early 40s, he travels a lot and like me, looks for little adventures along the way. He regaled us at lunch with his story of his first skydiving experience in Hawaii this past March. Both Lin and I want to do that, but will probably have to settle for parasailing on this trip. (That's the plan for today anyway!)

And like Vernon and Virginia from Canada, who retired five years ago and are my new role models when it comes to traveling. Virginia says they have been non-stop with back to back to back trips all this year. She says that they travel all over the world (their next stop is Thailand for three weeks) and go home to Canada just to wash clothes and repack their suitcases. A nice life if you can afford it, but how enjoyable for them. Married for 35 years, they seem to still have a good rapport with each other - share the same interests and were genuinely nice people to hang out with.

And like Collin, his domestic partner (whose name escapes me) and their friend Cassandra, who told us about how they travel to places like PV and actually volunteer to sit in on timeshare presentations at as many hotels/resorts as they can for cash and tours and gifts - always with the intention of saying no and basically, "trying to make enough money to make not working for two weeks worth it". Of course, they were very young and so maybe that works for them, but Collin says that they agree to do a minimum of two presentations a day which ties up their mornings, EVERY MORNING, but they are usually done by 2:30/3:00 in order to do whatever tour they got as a gift or to hit the beach. He told us that they can sometimes "make" over $1000 in a week, so that more than pays for the time he takes off from work in order to do this. I guess that is one way to vacation...sounds too much like work to me.

And then there's the group of six men that Lin and I met on the beach the other night and you know me, Ms. Photographer that I am, offered to take a group picture of them together for their photo memories. Turns out that for 17 years, these men - most of them friends since high school - have left their wives at home for a week to ten days for a "once in a lifetime annual vacation" to bond and re-cement their friendships with each other. How cool is that?! You don't often hear of men doing that, but they have done it for 17 years! Every year! And don't feel sorry for their wives - while the men are away, the women get together and do their own "girls vacation" - usually in Hawaii.

I am glad that I am blessed to be on this vacation - especially with my godsister. We are having so much fun. But I wonder - does God ever wish He could go on vacation? And if He did, where would He go? When You are Creator of heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is - do You have a favorite spot to visit? I know, I think weird things sometimes, but I do wonder...

When you can, take some time out for yourself. A vacation doesn't have to be far away to some exotic climate or location - it can be a picnic in your own backyard with your dog and kids - or a drive to a nearby state park for the day - or a weekend getaway to a local bed and breakfast. There are plenty of ways to "vacation" - find one that works best for you (and your budget) and do it.

Be blessed.

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