Friday, January 29, 2010

It's the dead of winter - the best time to think of summer vacation

I have received emails and read blog posts and spoken to friends on the phone.
The results are in: winter is tough. The darkness. The cold.
The separation from family and friends.
The routine becomes just that - routine.

Tea and homemade cookies help.
Journaling helps even more.
Good books, movies, magazine articles distract.
The Australian Open Tennis Championship transports us overseas to some one else's summer.

As I watch my beloved Roger Federer advance to the final, I find myself dreaming of travel.

I dream of warm places, sandy places, breezy mornings and balmy nights.

I dream of walking the beach with friends and loved ones.

I dream of walking city streets and wandering through museums for hours at a time.

I dream of falling asleep to the sound of adults sipping sweet drinks by the pool or cars gliding past in the Spanish night.

I dream of late night book and movie discussions, sharing ideas on writing, or sitting next to someone else who is also tapping away on her computer keyboard, writing stories of her own. Or his own. Sipping cold, sweet drinks of our own.

I dream of travel. Of getting away. Of flip flops and tank tops.

I dream of hanging up my heavy purple robe, folding up my long sleeve pajamas, and laying them all down for a long summer's nap.

So inspired by Magpie Girl, I am putting together a list of 8 things to take on vacation.

1. My journal and pens and stickers and scissors, first of all.

2. My passport and credit cards - and photocopies of all of them, just in case tragedy or a pickpocket strikes.

3. A small index card with my vacation goals (rest, reconnection with myself, discovery of a new place, for example) and my spiritual provisions (patience, a sense of humor, trust that all will go exactly as it should, for example) written on it. Found this idea in Joseph DiSpenza's The Way of the Traveler.

4. Half as many clothes as I think I might need.

5. Twice as much money as I think I might need.

6. My camera, my Bible, and one other book to read.

7. A small daypack/backpack to carry the essentials everywhere I go.

8. A spirit of great adventure. And a wide open heart.

* Okay, so that's more than eight things. But as long as it all fits in my roll-behind carry-on bag, that's all that matters. I do everything I can to keep from having to check bags when I fly. No matter how long the trip, it's not worth the worry of losing my bags and my cherished belongings.

Winter is tough. But spring and summer are not far behind.
Here's to dreaming - and to dreams coming true.

In the meantime, hug someone you love and hang on for a while.
Hey, you gotta stay warm, right???!!!

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