Last week I biked and hiked along Vail Mountain Pass, windsurfed on a Florida ocean inlet, pub crawled in Ireland, and ate fresh lobster bayside in a small town in Maine. One day, we rode horses on a Montana wilderness trail. Oh, I put in a full work week too. Money and time are no object : these are vacations of the mind.
Yes, I’m a lucky, carefree, world-wide traveler thanks to an early morning phone conversation with a good friend. Every Monday through Friday at 6:30 a.m., Meg and I talk during our morning commutes to work. We check in about kids, the jobs, life in general, but most critically – about our vacation that day. “Where are we going today?” we sometimes answer the phone, immediately launching into our travel plans. We take turns in the role of planner. We have seen the world together in the last year even though Meg and I have never actually vacationed together.
It is a form of escapism, but a healthy one. We both like our jobs but still wish we were independently wealthy and didn’t need to report to one, or have an alarm awake us at inhumane hours.
What started as a practice to take our minds off the dread one feels at the impending hectic work-a-day schedule has morphed into an amazing journey of joy. It is an exercise as important to me as my daily sun salutations, my prayerful gratitude practice, and my regular stadium stair climbs and walks through the park. This simple practice presses a mental reset button for us and reminds us to be in the moment even while transporting us to a different place. We both can testify that our daily trip planning puts a spring in our step for the day.
It’s Sunday night. This week, lunching at a Portland Oregon food truck and a tour of the Parisian Latin Quarter may be on the docket. I also heard about this lovely cabin in Gainesville, Florida that I think we could squeeze in between an African safari and the parasailing adventure! Do join us!