This has been the mother of all winters for us here in Nova Scotia. We’ve battled almost weekly storms and have been sinking deeper and deeper into winter’s grip.
This year of all years we were happy to escape last week for March Break to a hot and sunny location.
There was no snow to shovel or roof to clear off or road closures to worry about. No work or school obligations to think about. A true escape from the seemingly endless list of to dos and should dos was left behind. We could all truly relax and unwind.
Over the years we’ve had the chance to get away a few times like that and it’s such a treat. While we’re not always destined for a tropical location we’ve discovered we’re way better at being on vacation together when we’re away from the house. The break in routine and surroundings really does help rejuvenate us and our relationships with each other.
There’s a certain kind of ease and relaxation that comes over us as we drive away. Rules get flexed, bedtimes get extended and menus get less structured. We’re all a bit more rested and patient with each other. Instead of deadlines and schedules, our time is filled with dancing contests, storytelling, afternoon naps, beaches, reading, scavenger hunts, board games, music and lots and lots of laughs. Life is lighter, simpler and more spontaneous.
Of course, since I’ve promised myself to also keep it real in this blog, there is still the normal amount of bickering and picking from the back seat and the typical pushing of limits that comes with two boys; regardless of time or place. When I’m in vacation mode though I always seem a bit more philosophical and have the best speeches to manueuvre those moments (or so I think in my dreamlike state).
Besides exposing the boys to a more relaxed version of their parents and life, vacations and travel have also helped teach them a few important lessons and opened their eyes to the world around them. I feel fortunate to have been able to expose the boys to a few parts of the world already and for them to witness how others live. They can now speak from life experience about how long it takes to fly to Ireland and that the Island is made up of two countries with two currencies. They know that in Bahamas you drive on the left side of the road and that the Island has no crocodiles. They’ve learned to canoe and kayak and to decipher the English language through various accents. It’s true we could have looked some of that up in a book or a website, but without a personal experience or connection to it none of it would mean quite the same.
So, as we pack the trunks and sandals away for a few more months, slowly return back to reality and cling to the last bits of vacation fuzzies I’m reminded that the reason we love vacation so much is because it’s a rare and coveted species that we work hard for. The truth is we couldn’t live in vacation euphoria forever and all of that spontaneity would eventually feel like work anyway. The trick is to enjoy it while it lasts and make the most of it. That way you can truly appreciate it when it comes back around.
Tracy is a self-employed Mom of two boys, trying to get it right the first time. By day, helping companies tell their stories through words, media and events. By night, navigating the world of Lego, Minecraft and Harry Potter.