Monday, July 10, 2006

I just returned from vacation with some perplexing questions; a number I intend to pursue in some forthcoming blogs, that is when I get around to thinking about them.

It was typical vacation - go, go, go. Temperatures were outrageous (105 daily), sleep deprivation was common, and I came home with embedded soil samples and in quite a few different colors from purple to dark green. It was wonderful, life-giving, and each day holds memories I will never forget. My friends did the same and felt the same.

The question is why do some people go on vacation and waste themselves with activity while others prefer more sedentary leisure? Where's the difference? Each thinks the other's vacation is absurd and can't stomach the thought of either so much activity or so much inactivity. Many of my colleagues look at my vacations and know insanity lurks just under the surface, yet many other people I know envy the manic pace of my adventures. The truly wonderful thing is that my wife is on my side of vacation equation.

I don't question the fact that some people do not like sports (climbing, biking, backcountry exploring, dangerous activities or exposed situations). To each his own, but "the others" have to be passionate about something besides sitting around. History, art, cities, museums, or foreign travel come to mind. Why aren't they exhausting themselves with such endeavors? Where's the passion? Where's the spirit of adventure? Where is the zest for their particular passion? Are they bereft of passion or are they so spent by their daily existence that sloth is the only cure?

And what of you? Do you secretly wish for some adventurous vacation or do you loath the idea of the unknown, the untried, or simply the strenuous? I actually think the people with boring vacations are jealous. Perhaps they live vicariously though those who do break the mold. Perhaps they know nothing else.

About two years ago I met the woman who wrote Hitchhiking Vietnam. She falls in the great vacation category. As a matter of fact, I don't even believe it was a vacation - she just went Asia and ended up writing a PBS series. Beside a road in the pouring rain she rubbed my very muddy and very stinky feet, and also there's the potato, but that's another story...

Oh yes, and the worst - sleeping in. My god man, vacation is finite. Sleep when you get home, watch TV when you get home, lay around when you get home, but don't waste something so precious, so wonderful, so life giving as time SET ASIDE to have fun. Such times come only rarely and never can you get a bad one back. "My vacation sucked, I need another", won't get you very far and if it did, it might get you a very long vacation indeed. Go get crazy!

1 comment:

  1. With the introduction of children, I find that my sense of adventure has lessened. Is it because I fear my own mortality and the thought that I may not be here for them. The realization plagues me daily that we all leave this earth some day and isn't it better to leave my children with a sense of adventure than a sense of fear...here is to reigniting my sense of adventure and remembering the bonds that brought us all together.

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