The vacation season has arrived and I haven’t booked a thing. Not even considered lounging on sun-kissed beaches or hiking wondrous trails. To be honest, those were rarely the vacations that a family of six embarked upon. Our vacations were more car than Caribbean affairs, where we’d pack a cooler, fill up the gas tank of our Suburban,
(costing nearly the price a first class airline ticket), pack a bag of snacks, books on tape and games and head off, usually east to my Massachusetts hometown or points south near my husbands. Sometimes we’d head north to Montreal, Canada or Vermont and once west to Ohio. We didn’t stay in 5-star hotels or eat in fancy restaurants, but we visited museums, historic sites, swam in hotel pools, listened to much of Harry Potter and the Joey Pigza audiobook series, and talked and laughed. A lot.
As much as I enjoyed these trips, I dreamed of a time, when the kids would be out of the house and I could plan different types of getaways that involved lounging on sun kissed beaches or hiking
wondrous trails. Friends told us of globe-trotting adventures and I plotted and planned and waited for the day I would have the time and resources to embark on my own. And then this year arrived. All at once, speaking engagements inexplicably poured in, and, fearful that I’d never receive another, I said yes to nearly single one.
As my travel began, I was eager for the getaways, often in nice hotels, with room service and kind folks and lovely dinners. It was vacationish enough that if I were travelling with James, I could squint and pretend it wasn’t really work at all. From Washington D.C. to
Hilton Head, S.C., to California to Philadelphia, to Charlottesville, New Orleans, Atlanta, Austin and even Beloit, Wisconsin, I packed and unpacked for nearly an entire year, grateful for the travel and time away. But, by the time July rolled around and I found myself packing for one of the last trips of the season, I realized I was tired.
Just worn out. You know you have reached your travel limit when all you want to do is stay home, do laundry and make a sandwich in your own kitchen.
I often dream of having a housekeeper and interior designer to whip my home into magazine ready perfection, but when I returned home from the last trip, and unpacked my suitcase, I no longer saw dust and disorder. I saw home and stability. Calm and sanctuary. In a family room with dog hair tumbleweeds and my unrennovated kitchen, I saw a place to kick up my feet, gather, cook, read, stay put and enjoy my summer vacation.