I don’t normally like to go an entire week without posting an update.
But I also don’t normally get an entire week of vacation with my husband where he is completely absent from the work world, and completely present with me.
Naturally, I soaked up every single minute of this time with him.
I also soaked up a LOT of sun, and now I am living to tell the tales of our time in the Sunshine State.
I plan to write a post about our time there and all of the things we enjoyed, because I, for one, love a good review of an area to help me plan my time somewhere. I am going to save that for another time, however, because I just want to talk about the idea of vacation, why it is important, and why you should do everything you can to make the most of it.
Vacation is defined as an extended period of recreation, especially one spent away from home or work, and one in which traveling is involved.
When we think of vacation, it is only natural to think of the places we can go and the things we can do.
As for my husband and me, we approached this vacation for weeks and weeks thinking very little of where we were going, and thinking a whole lot about all of the things we wouldn’t be doing.
I mean, to be totally honest, when my husband and I think of a “great vacation,” Florida is not what comes to mind. We had originally planned to travel to somewhere a little more exotic.. somewhere a little more “exciting,” but Zika virus, 8 hour flights, and 30 weeks of pregnancy ultimately ruled the decision.
Then we also realized that all of our proposed destinations involved a lot of adventure and exploring- and if you know me- you know that’s so totally my thing.
Except, here’s my new thing- exhaustion.
And it’s sort of my husband’s thing, too.
After the year we’ve had, we could have gone anywhere or done anything, and it would have been perfect to us simply because we were together, away from our everyday life, and truly relaxing.
This was rare for us. Don’t mistake our frequent travels for vacations. Most often, if I am traveling with my husband, it is because he is traveling for work, so I go with him because even though I don’t see him for eight to ten hours of the day, I still get to share a bed with him at night.
Because this was so rare for us, we really wanted to make the most of every minute of our time, and I would say we were quite successful at that. A lot of what made it so successful for us was the simple fact that we were determined to make it that way.
After such an amazing time, I wanted to share our personal tips and advice for making the most of your vacation, and enjoying every minute of it.
- Turn off your cell phone. I personally believe we live in a world where people are literally obsessed with technology- specifically their cell phones. I know, I know, there’s nothing wrong with Facebook or Instagram in your spare time… but if that’s your norm (and you have to be honest with yourself), and it’s something that typically consumes a large chunk of time (it probably is), then it’s a great idea to take a little break from it and appreciate the world around you and the person sitting next to you.
- Don’t check your work email. This one sort of goes hand-in-hand with the first one. It’s almost disturbing just how accessible email is these days. We pretty much work nonstop without even realizing it, because even when we are not working, we are refreshing our email accounts on our smart phones to check in on things- or you may be one of those people who has it automatically refresh and retrieve new emails (I could just never…). It takes a lot of discipline to just not work- more than you might think- but it is so good for the mind and the body. Stop working and appreciate the time off.
- Sleep in. I have to clarify that I am totally a morning person… like literally the exact opposite of a night owl. I have been made fun of more than once for the fact that I am most often in bed in the eight o’clock hour, and definitely asleep by nine o’clock. Even still, when is it just totally okay and acceptable to sleep in? Vacation. That’s when. And even better? If you are traveling with your spouse (who often wakes up two hours before you to get more work done), it’s the perfect opportunity to sleep in, together, and just be in each other’s arms.
- Eat good food. This is entirely subjective, but find good food and enjoy the heck out of it. For my husband and me, we like to find the best local, hole-in-the-wall places, and if it’s cute and trendy, that’s great, but if it’s nothing more than delicious food from a street-side vendor, that’s enough for us. We are not looking for trendy- because let’s be real, sometimes trendy is not actually good food, but because it is trendy, people call it good. (As a foodie and culinary school student- I laugh at this).
- Exercise. I know, I know… no one likes to exercise on vacation. Except we do! My husband and I both feel like we enjoy our vacation as a whole about ten times more when we exercise, because we know that even while resting, we are taking care of our bodies and our health. Also, it helps us to not feel guilty for splurging at a local ice cream shop or bakery. And we know we won’t feel awful when we go on a run the day we get home.
- Try something you would not normally try. Part of getting out of your norm is trying new things, right? Find a food you wouldn’t normally try, or maybe just one that isn’t available where you live. You can also try something new by going on an adventure you might normally be afraid of, or even just getting outside more than you would normally.
- Know what ‘rest’ is. This is last on my list because, duh, I was saving the best for last. This one has been the absolute most vital and most helpful tip for us. My husband and I “rest” differently. We have had to learn to identify what it looks like for us individually, and then come to find a balance as a couple. Much to our surprise on this trip, we each were more like the other than we would have suspected. Whatever it is- walking, suntanning, swimming, watching netflix, reading a book, sleeping, exercising, shopping, eating, or just simply sitting around- know what it means for you to rest, and make that thing a priority on your vacation.
So why? Why vacation, and why make the most of it?
We literally run ourselves into the ground all year long, working nonstop, and never give ourselves a break. If you are anything like me, you don’t even give yourself a break mentally. It’s way too easy to let your gears turn constantly in your head, constantly thinking and planning and worrying over any little thing.
Vacation is not forever, but it is enough. It is like a reset button- and sometimes that button needs to be pushed.
And when it does get pushed, we need to make the most of that reset.
The next time you find yourself on vacation, make the most of it. Give yourself the treat you deserve. Rest, relax, and recover.
And do it in the way that fuels you best.
Happy traveling, my friend.