The Flux of Routine on Vacation

“If you think adventures are dangerous, try routine: It’s Lethal.”– Paulo Coelho.

We travel to break the monotony of our daily lives.  This includes leaving our jobs, responsibilities, familiarities, and tendencies at home.  We travel to restore ourselves, try new things, let go of our contained selves to allow movement to our souls and bodies.  Yet, what I am finding for me is that we need to navigate a balance of ourselves on trips: our vacation self, disciplined self, playful self, curious self, and wise self.  

It’s easy to let loose on vacation.  I hadn’t left my home to stay overnight in ten months, and to embark on an adventure was celebratory.  This included my senses being on overload with sights, smells, walks, and tastes of non-stop fun.  But we can overdo it, or at least I did.  Somehow much of the food I ate the past several days caught up with me: full English breakfasts (even though they were vegetarian), burgers, chips (also known as French fries to Americans), a lack of hydration, partnered with non-stop tourist attractions, driving down windy British back roads, and being around people 24/7 post covid overwhelmed me.  In addition, I longed for seafood and perhaps overate to simply taste the pleasures of the coastal life.  After 2 days of this, I felt as if I woke up with a hangover.  It was not due to drinking, but non-stop going, and being out of my eating regime.  During trips we want to let loose, and we should.  Yet a balance may be necessary, depending on what your day to day life looked like before.

I’ve allowed myself the space for my morning discipline to take place: meditation, journaling (also known as morning pages), gratitude, silence, intention.  But I realized I need the additional centering from the rejuvenation of naps, stillness, and slowing down.  How can we enjoy vacations if they are at full speed?  The luxury lies in the ability to slow down. 

I took an evening to do nothing, skipped a meal, slept, rehydrated, and allowed myself to recalibrate.  And I feel much better.  As I continue the remainder of this week long journey, I know my days must balance the adventurer with the self-nurturer.  This will lead to an enriched sustainable journey.Who are you when you vacation? Do you live a life of excess, moderation, balance, or flow?  How has the pandemic impacted who you are when you travel today?  What can you do to allow stillness and presence to arrive in the midst of vacation

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