Making sense of vacations


What do you tell people when you return from vacation?

Perhaps a tale of something gone wrong, like the painful encounter with the Viennese train police a few minutes after our 72 hr travel card had expired. Perhaps a blow-your-socks-off site, like the view from on top of the world across the ski slopes when the sun came out. Perhaps the discovery of a never-tasted-before, or even heard-of-before food, like “Schwarzwurzel” (salsify root) or “Acker Salat” (lamb’s lettuce). Perhaps the immersion into something that changed your outlook, like the now vividly multi-cultural face of places I knew to be very homogeneous 40 years ago, when I lived there. Or a crazy, wacky happening, like our ski group breaking the 7-day all-time cork count record for the chalet by day 4 already! Apparently skiing triggers an unquenchable thirst for French wine. Who knew?

Listening to an interview with Richard J. Leider (author of The Power of Purpose: Find Meaning, Live Longer, Better) yesterday I was struck by some research he has done into regrets among older people. One of the consistent themes was a regret that they hadn’t spent enough time reflecting.

That’s certainly true for me and vacations. We download our pictures, write some thank you notes, sort through the pile of mail, get our to-do lists fired up again, struggle through jet lag and attempt to integrate back into the flow of our home life routines. As time passes, the vacation experience fades and is often reduced to captions on photos, and an occasional anecdote retold. I’m thinking this trip is worthy of some deeper, personal reflection.

What were the truly memorable moments? The joyful zings that make your heart leap? What were those tingling new experiences that I seek to recreate back home? What did I see or do that will have a lasting residual impact on my outlook? Where does this propel me to venture to next time?

Going offline to dig deeper.

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”  Confucius

About lynnmorstead

Writing about the small things that shape our lives
This entry was posted in conversation, Happiness, Holidays, joy, Life Coaching, Life Stories, psychology, Spiritual, Transitions, vacation. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Making sense of vacations

  1. suzetteharrel says:

    I look forward to hearing more!

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