Mr. Fab and I love to travel and long ago set a goal of visiting one new country and one new U.S. city every year. In the early days we checked off Canada, Brazil, Italy, and Tahiti, and explored Seattle, Washington D.C., and New Orleans. But over the last couple of years our circle of exploration has shrunk and some of the top destinations on our wish list remain uncharted, at least to us.
For a number of years, I didn’t want to risk a trip to Guatemala, Colombia or China, just in case I got pregnant and ended up with Junior tagging along in utero to some malaria infested region. After that episode, we both threw ourselves into our careers as an avoidance technique regarding the lack of Junior’s arrival.
Now we’re tired. Planning a trip sounds like so much work right now, and the idea of arriving in a strange city where we don’t speak the language – something that was once the major thrill of travel – seems so unappealing. What we really want to do is hole up in a cottage somewhere quiet, where we can walk to dinner and spend peaceful days reading, talking and napping. But that all sounds very middle-aged to me.
Maybe the solution is to take the sedentary vacation and use the quiet downtime to plan an adventure for next year, but somehow that defeats the object of getting away to unplug and unwind, doesn’t it?
What’s changed for you in the past few years? Do you have passions that could use a rekindle? Does making the effort just sound like too much effort? If so, do you have a favorite way to reboot yourself when you’re dragging, like I am? I certainly could use some suggestions.
I’m in an urgent search to rediscover passions of all sorts… I usually feel like I’m dragging… I’m somewhat motivated to give fiction writing a shot, trying to get in shape (doing p90x these days), but I need to boost my social activities, I feel I tend to prefer sitting home with a book a bit too much over mostly anything else. Regarding vacations, I just came back from a Baltic Cruise, and I really recommend it… you get to see highlights of different places, but you choose the pace and you can relax as much as you like on a cruise.
I’d love to return to my study of the Thai language! Sawatdi Kha!
What works for me is thinking about my past escapades, I close my eyes and just drift in my head recalling sun, the moments in some exotic market or what it felt like looking down a mountain…..in my laziest moments the memories always spark a tremor, a surge of excitement.
I also ask myself if I have EVER regretted an adventure…..but have I regretted NOT taking an adventure (yup). Its just like exercising, there are days I just want to skip it but then I remind myself how I will feel afterward, which is always great – even if the workout wasn’t so good!
Lastly, I remind myself that some of my meanderings require an athleticism I won’t have when I’m old, I can lounge on a boat deck at 80…when I’m too old to climb anymore.
My husband likes to say “those who rest – rust”, it always makes me laugh.
With that, I would say there is nothing wrong with a break, I needed one this year after some challenging stuff with the hubby so our recent fun was more relaxed. But I get the feeling you feel you’ve had your break, maybe its more that you need to break out of the comfortable mold.
If you go to Australia you’ll speak the language… I understand, I tend to mainly go to countries where I can speak at least a little bit of the language (still you have most of Europe, India, Australia, Singapore and South Africa). I usually just go ahead and buy a plane ticket, then worry about the planning later (which ends up costing quite a few unnecessary expenses). I never avoided going somewhere just in case I’d finally be pregnant because very early on I suspected that Nature disliked me, so I purposely planned all sorts of pregnancy-incompatible activities, trying to fool Nature into getting me pregnant just to bug me (I know it’s kind of pathetic). Ok, that never worked.
I use to ride horses a lot, but then my lifestyle stopped that (it wasn’t even ttc’s fault, I just started traveling a lot for work) I thought that I’d start again after I had kids and could not travel that much anymore (Because of the kids. Gee, I hate the people complaining about that).
I totally relate to feeling exhausted at the thought of planning a trip. Last year we were planning a big trip, but in the end pulled out. I blogged about it here. http://aseparatelife.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/indecision-and-indulgence/
We tend to alternate total relaxation holidays (blobbing on a beach or in a cottage close to home, or somewhere like Italy), and more active, tour-type holidays. Though you can mix both. I have never felt so mentally refreshed and exhilarated as after a safari in South Africa – despite having to get up at 5 am every morning for the early game drive (and I am NOT a morning person). Thailand is a wonderful option – you can explore or relax on an island on the beach (or a hotel in Bangkok near the river or with a nice pool and gardens or both) and alternate relaxation with sightseeing trips, exploring markets etc etc. The foot massages alone are worth the price of the ticket! I’ve blogged about all of these (on the blog I linked to above) but don’t want to give you endless links.
I also have a travel blog. I’ll make sure I’ve registered with it here, so you can link to it if you want some inspiration.
My favorite getaway is a spiritual retreat center, located in Wisconsin, which has breathtaking views of Lake Michigan. I usually visit for a weekend and there is often a scheduled topic that gives the retreat some structure and food for thought. For example, this past spring I joined up with a group of 10 or so women to discuss “The Second Half of Life”. Our retreat facilitator was a retired minister with a gift for drawing wisdom from the group in a way that didn’t sound like advice or a lecture.
There are retreat centers all over the United States that are wellsprings of peace and wisdom, so no pricey plane tickets are necessary. Ask your friends if they know of something near you.