It always stuns and saddens me when I hear people claim that they can’t take time away from work to go on vacation. Vacations and holidays are what keep me going! They expand my soul and lift my spirits, buoying me so I stay afloat between long stretches and periods of hard work. To travel is to experience the world and all that it has to offer. Holidays help us slow down, offering a reprieve from the rushed busyness of our typical schedule. Instead, we find time to relax, enjoy the moment, stay awhile, and get closer in touch with ourselves. Vacations are an essential period of rest and recovery.
On this topic, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“Part of the destructiveness of being women who do too much is that we don’t take the time for those things that ‘stir the blood’ and ‘give strength to the spirit.’ We simply do not take time for vacations and trips with those we love. And even when we do, we frequently do them like we do the rest of our life—rushing, pressured, and frantic.
Vacations mean a change of pace, a gentleness with ourselves, a time of rest and renewal, and a time to stretch ourselves and encounter new people, new lands, new ways, and new options.The very newness opens the possibility of expanding our spirits and flushing out the stangant particles in our blood.”
Vacations provide us a break from routine. They help to give us a fresh perspective, to see the world differently, a bit more clearly even. Vacations cleanse our palate and our soul so that we may return to work rejuvenated and refreshed, ready to begin anew. Travel in particular helps to shake things up for us. When we go outside our culture and community, we live life more fully by seeing how others live. It’s amazing, because travel both expands our horizons and yet also makes the world a smaller place by helping us realize that humanity is, at its core, the same regardless of landscape or climate, the traditions we keep, the food we eat, and the language we speak. Without time to get closer to humanity and ourselves through the wonder of travel and experience, what are we living for? We are put here for such a short time on Earth. Shouldn’t we make the most of the time we are given? I believe that means seeing and experiencing as much of the world as we possibly can. Holidays and vacations provide us time to do that through travel, as well as a much needed opportunity for rest. Everyone should have an opportunity for travel and rest, to get closer to oneself and the world, and to discover what each holds.