Facebook keeps reminding me that exactly 1 year ago we were vacationing a few blocks away from where we now live. Even though it is so close (I’ve looked at it on the map a few times), I hadn’t yet taken the time to drive that way and see where we had stayed and made such great memories. But the other day, I missed my normal turn and ended up on a road that looked strangely familiar. I got goosebumps as I realized that I was on the street that led to the timeshare where we had stayed. Some of the road that had been under construction was now finished and I wished to myself that it wasn’t finished because I wanted it to be exactly the same as I remembered.
As I pulled up next to the edge of the golf course, in the spot where we usually parked, I could see the bench out front where I had gone out one morning to read and had almost been hit by a golf ball. A flood of memories followed including all of the fun we had had in the pool, the friends my kids had made, visiting with relatives, and the details of the inside of the condo. I could remember the book I was reading at the time and even conversations we had during our trip. It was like returning to Disneyland and remembering the excitement you felt as a child. I was transported back and relived the entire vacation in a moment.
I sat there, separated from everyone around me, in my own little world, where time stood still. I wanted to get out of the car and walk over and touch the bench or the door or the bushes to make it more than just a daydream, but I decided against it. This was enough and I didn’t want to be broken from my reverie by someone questioning why I was caressing a park bench.
A year later, as I shifted out of park and slowly pulled away from the curb (hoping to keep some of the magic from blowing away), I realized that this was home now–or at least around the corner from it. I wondered if this magic would carry over into our home life or if it would be lost because I now lived in what used to be a vacation spot.
In other parts of the world the phrase “taking a holiday” is more common than “taking a vacation”. I like this because the word “holiday” comes from the old English for “Holy Day”. We are taking a holy day–a spiritual renewal. We aren’t just vacating our normal life. Vacations prove to me that happiness is really an internal thing. Breaking your routine and doing something different or new helps you to reconnect with the divine within yourself. It isn’t the place that you go to, necessarily. It is your state of mind while there. Vacations remind us that there is more to life than what we see and do each day. They help us expand our dreams and create goals.
I’ve always found it interesting how, when you travel, you do different things then you do at home. (If you did those things at home would it feel like a vacation?) You stay in hotels, go to restaurants, and see attractions that you never take time to do where you live. There are plenty of people who live and work where you are vacationing at. And for many of them it is just normal 9 to 5 monotony. They may travel to your town for vacation and do the things that you never get around to doing. I used to live within a few minutes of Timpanogos cave, and would occasionally be visited by friends or relatives who were heading there. But I never went there while I lived there and have still never been inside the cave.
Maybe now I should go there on vacation…
I guess I could. But I don’t feel the need to. Because there is still magic here where my family now lives. I feel it every time I walk through our home. I feel it outside as I see the green trees contrasted against the red mountains. And now I even feel a stronger surge of it as I look in the direction of the timeshare where our family took a holiday one year ago this week.