A misty morning descends over the small lake skirting the back of the condo my friends aunt has rented for the duration of her stay. I am surprised the rain hung around, but it seems fair, given the five days of absolute sunshine we have been blessed with this week. I am happy to say my friend and I have survived each other for a week with no tremors in our friendship. I think after 10+ years you just know and accept a person for their idiosyncrasies. Still, this part of the day is always something I relish, whether its my back deck in the summer or the beaches of mexico. Days are generally filled with noise: traffic, the rush of packing and yelling to get out the door, other tourists, patios alight with excited voices, etc. The morning is always a different kind of noise. The birds having their morning meeting, frogs gurgling at the waters edge below, heck- even the pool motor sounds more poetic in the morning. I love this. It reminds me why I am so happy to be away. Whether a vacation lasts 6 weeks or a weekend, they say the resulting feeling is the same. You feel invigorated, refreshed, like a new surge of happiness has been pushed into your veins to keep you bouncing along for the next little while.
Sure, I’m not looking forward to the 2 day drive, or the frostbite warning that Facebook contacts were loath to share online yesterday. Still, money aside, I will not regret this week. How could I? Money will always sort itself out, to some degree. Opportunities to travel should be taken when they can. I did not go gallivanting across the Alps or dine in the cafes of Paris (maybe someday), but I still managed to put a number of firsts under my belt. I think a true traveler understands that sometimes its essential to get off the beaten path, while at other times, it is perfectly acceptable to play the tourist (more on this in another post). On this trip, I’ve gone to new places (all the states we drove through, beaches here, ocean). I took my first airboat ride. I also ate new cuisine (Cajun, frogs legs, crawfish, gumbo). I’ve heard sayings like ABC from Spain (another bloody church) and ABB from Oz (another bloody beach) but I just don’t get this way. Every beach I encountered in Australia filled me with wonder. The beaches of Florida can still do the same. There are a million places on this earth, each with their own sunset worth seeing. I just finished the Alchemist last night and I must say a lot of it speaks to me. Having moments to be in touch with nature and yourself, your dreams, seems intrinsic to me. If you find yourself stressed at work, take a moment and slow down. Take your thoughts elsewhere. Find time for you. And, when in doubt, go. When i consider what I would have been doing at home today- surfing netflix and playing on facebook in the isolation of my room… Vs. What I did this afternoon- sitting in a pool with a trav book in my hand… Well, im sure you can guess which situation I would be happier with.
Traveler and tourist signing off.