This has been the vacation I badly needed. Body healing, spirit renewing, mind clearing. At the beginning I wanted it to go on forever. I felt like I could not get enough of wallowing in luxurious nothing. I felt like that for at least a week.
But a funny thing has happened to me as this trip comes to the end I always knew would arrive. My horizon has changed. Instead of endless seas (or the Roman skyline) I now see home, I see projects and obligations and pets and promises. I am still enjoying the trip as it comes to an end — every minute of it — but I am doing a little work and enjoying that too.
A lot of the stress and anxiety and illness I dragged along with me on this vacation is either gone, or accepted. I anticipate returning to my regular life not with trepidation but with eagerness. When it is time to go home tomorrow, I’ll be happy to leave.
I never thought about the lifecycle of a healthy vacation before. I know I’ve had trips that I could hardly call vacations because I couldn’t lose sight of the home horizon behind me, of work and stress. I know I’ve had vacations that I never wanted to end, jealously looking at new arrivals as I endured my departure, taking a while to readjust my vision to accepting the horizon of home before me.
But I think the way a vacation, a really perfect vacation ought to go is just like this one, a series of stages, of changing perspectives, from oh-god-it’s-so-good-to-be-here, to please-don’t-ever-let-this-end, to I-am-as-relaxed-as-a-person-can-be, to won’t-it-be-good-to-be-back-home. That is the mark of a vacation that has really done it’s job well.
In fact, the metaphor here is that a vacation well done, is not unlike a life, well lived. I’m feeling too lazy to be any more philosophical than I already have been so I’ll spare you. But think about it.