If you really want to relax, you need to get away.
That’s why vacations are called getaways: you are removed from all the every day stressors of life in the 21st century. There’s value in removing those tension-producing things and obligations from your vacation life and that value is relaxation. Trust me on this. We returned recently from a relaxing vacation in Maui in which we did practically nothing that we do on a normal vacation. We didn’t sight-see, we didn’t shop, we didn’t run from pillar to post. Here’s what I discovered.
The time is not important.
Don’t wear a watch, put clocks in drawers and for God’s sake, don’t consult your phone or any time-keeping device. I can’t tell you the number of times I asked “What time is it?” because I had no idea. After a while, I realized it didn’t matter, so I stopped asking.
Speaking of devices…
Ignore them as much as possible, which is to say most of the time. We never saw a single newscast and in fact, didn’t turn the TV on at all. It was such a relief not to hear about the latest idiocy from Donald Trump, the most recent cop-killing or about Isis. In the absence of that horrific news, the news that pervades every single day of my life, I found myself able to completely relax. I did the same thing with social media. Minimum attention to my blog (just enough to share in my usual places) and a few minor conversations on Facebook. Period. My cellphone didn’t ring once, but really, it was off most of the time–unless I was taking photos. It was easy to see what a distraction social media are and how easy it is to zone out in front of a feed. It was liberating to let go of all that.
Bring plenty of books…& laughter!
Reading is one of the most relaxing things in the world, whether on an e-reader or old-school book. At any given time at least half of us had our heads buried in books. The rest were on social media or checking the path of the various hurricanes that were a concern. Guess which I was? That’s right. I read. And read. And read. And we talked…about fun things, like sacred geometry and grammar and dogs and…and…we talked. We enjoyed so many great discussions with the friends we were with…and so many laughs. Did I say we cooked great meals? We did.
Have a massage.
One afternoon the women walked next door to a world-class spa. There, we did the baths, the hot tubs and several of us had massages. I had a lomi-lomi massage and could feel its relaxing effects for several days. On the table there’s no need to think of anything but relaxing. Ahhhh!
Take the time to look around you, to listen, to breathe deeply. We were at Wailea, one of the most stunning beaches in the world. Every day began with a beach walk, during which we were awed at the power and majesty of the surf and the sound of waves crashing against the black lava rock. It’s impossible to be tense at the ocean. Impossible.
So there you have it. You really will survive if you don’t hang out on Facebook, know the time, keep your cellphone on or see every tourist attraction in town. Sometimes it’s enough to take a week out of our stressful lives and just breathe.
Have you ever taken that kind of vacation? I’d like to hear about it in the comments!
And thank you, Susan and Ron, for sharing your vacation with us! And the same to Alice, Van, Dan and Bill. What a pleasure it was to be in your company in Maui!