Sometimes, I feel guilty for investing in vacations. I know that may seem like the wrong verb – invest? Where is the profit, the material return? You see, invest can also mean: “to use, give, or devote (time, talent, etc.), as for a purpose or to achieve something.” Often times, in the mundane moments of life, the moments where I “use” my energy, “give” of myself, and “devote” my time and talents wholeheartedly to my profession, I remember the magic of travels, and my spirit is lifted; it is a comfort to know my hard work can afford me these moments.
I soak these images into the deep recess of my memory, my brain a sponge. One of my favorite memories to recall is from my honeymoon in the Bahamas. We spent a day at Atlantis, and I had never seen such beauty in the flesh. I stared in awe around me, taking in the sights and smells of tropical paradise. The sky was cobalt blue, a boat blew by in the breeze with a rainbow sail as I sat in the surf, waves embracing me, a rum-filled coconut in hand, the sun kissing my skin. The return, the profit in this moment, is worth every penny spent on such a vacation. How many days have I struggled, head in my hands on my desk, fighting tears in my eyes with deep, shallow breaths, that I have called back that memory and calmed myself with that same, serene scene.
We also spent a day at Disney’s Castaway Cay, and, although a tropical paradise as well, it was a wholly different experience. The beach was relatively empty (as most people on Disney cruises have children and, therefore, are not on the adult beach.) The breeze was a gentle ghost, leaving the water waveless. My new husband and I meandered around in the waist-deep water and surveyed the setting, not a single wave, completely still, crystal-clear water all around us for miles; it was almost unsettling, to be honest. We could look down and observe the fish nibbling at our flesh without being swept away or afraid of human contact. This is yet another moment I reach for in moments of uncertainty, and I’m transported back to the still water.
Aside from tropical destinations, my husband and I are truly home at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It’s special to us for many reasons; we got engaged there and “disneymooned” there as well. (One day, we will move there, and I will have to document the journey in my blog, for sure.) There is just no feeling for us like seeing the castle from the beginning of Mainstreet, slurping a dole whip on a sunny-day, viewing Illuminations at Epcot and contemplating the idea of progress; the list could go on, I digress. The bottom line is that we are both story-tellers, and we appreciate a world devoted to escaping reality that recognizes the importance of creativity and imagination. We don’t have kids, but we try to go once a year, if possible, and, thanks to our sweet sister who is now a Disney cast member, we were blessed with two trips to our favorite place just this year. Although returning from Disney world always causes “Disney depression,” (a real thing, by the way), once the initial return to reality has passed, I cling to those moments and memories, and, when I’m exceptionally desperate, I begin planning my next one!
Next week, we are jet-setting to Mexico for the second time. Last time, we traveled to Puerto Vallarta for a beautiful wedding, and we had such a wonderful experience, inspiring us to explore Mexico again; we’re hooked. The region surprised me with mountainous terrain, creating the most beautiful sunset. It was a bit colder when we went, so swimming in the water was something I only attempted once, but I spent my days lounging with a post-card view, drinking margaritas, and having conversations with the occasional iguana. Next week, we are touring the other coast of Mexico, in Playa Del Carmen. I know I will update my blog with that experience, but, more importantly, it will be a whole new “investment.”
Now, I understand that this blog may have made it seem like my life outside of vacations is exceptionally dull and depressing, but that is strictly hyperbole. Tomorrow, I will blog about the beauty of home.
That doesn’t negate the importance of taking time for adventure, to explore the world with my husband and make memories that will last a lifetime. It’s not always going to be as easy to travel as it is right now. We will have kids to care for, and, if we do go on vacations, we will have them to take with us and focus on.
This is the time for being selfish and investing in our youth. The song that played when we kissed at our wedding was “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” by Neutral Milk Hotel. My favorite lines in the song say,
“What a beautiful face I have found in this place that is circling all ’round the sun.
What a beautiful dream that could flash on a screen in a blink of an eye and be gone from me
soft and sweet, let me hold it close and keep it here with me.
And one day we will die, and our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea,
but for now we are young; let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see,
love to be in the arms of all I’m keeping here with me.”
These are words I try to live by. I’m still fiscally responsible, and I save for the future as a “good adult” is supposed to, but I’m not sitting on all of the surplus with the mentality of “This is bookmarked to have fun one day.” Who knows if that day will even come?
No. The time is here and now, while I’m young, with the spirit of adventure in tow.