When I was a kid, staying at a hotel, even of the inexpensive variety, was the quintessential experience. Taking advantage of hotel amenities while relaxing in a fluffy, white robe was the only requirement for fun. Sometimes, my friends would host birthday parties where we would have a slumber party at a semi-fancy hotel. We wore our best pajamas, loaded up on junk food, and binge watched movies as we jumped back and forth from bed to bed.
I’ve noticed that as an adult, however, that sense of adventure and excitement has waned. All hotel rooms begin to look the same, and my goal is always to spend as much time outside of the room as possible, fulfilling textbook tourist activities.
When contrasting my childlike spirit with my adult lack there-of, I’ve realized that adults are too tied to an agenda – that we have forgotten how to make the most of the simple moments in our quest to find the Narnia of experiences. What if Narnia is that quiet night at the hotel with someone you love?
I stumbled upon Narnia over the weekend doing just that.
My husband and I wanted a quick getaway to our favorite nearby beach resort. We just assumed we would participate in our favorite beach activities. We researched new restaurants to try out and things to do on the way, trying to create the perfect “mini-getaway” agenda, while, ironically, reveling in the fact that we didn’t have to set an alarm for work. We finally settled on a quiet shack on a pier for lunch while we planned out the rest of our activities. I considered it all – the aquarium, the pier, the shopping center – and all other beach-town must-dos. For some reason, in the moment it all seemed contrived.
I finally suggested, “What if we just get champagne and spend the entire time in the hotel?” He echoed my sentiments, we bought cheap champagne, and we continued onto our quest to the fluffy robes of Narnia.
It was the best decision, too. We drained a bottle of champagne – impulsively decided to walk along the beach to the store next door to get a second bottle. We ordered a pizza in lieu of the fancy dinner we had planned on attending, then sat out on the hotel balcony drinking, listening to music, talking, and watching the sun set – all in our fluffy, white robes. We contemplated this very blog topic – how removed we are from seeing the world through the eyes of a child – how the mystique of what used to be exhilarating activities become stigmatized as boring and routine. Had we spent that time exploring back to back to tourist hot spots, fulfilling the picturesque ideal of the traveler, we might not have found the time or energy to have such stimulating conversation.
We removed our adult glasses and saw the beauty in the simple.
The next morning, I almost groaned when I heard our work alarm go off – having forgot to pause it. I gazed up, squinted in the morning glare, and saw fire outside my window (not literally). The sky had been painted monochromatic shades of red which, contrasted with dark clouds, created the most captivating canvas. We ate breakfast in bed, sipped our coffee, and watched the sun rise in the sky.
Am I advocating ridding oneself of an agenda entirely? No. A successful life exists on a schedule. Am I encouraging all travelers to abandon any tourist traps? Also, no. If you’ve read my past blog posts, you know I’m a moth to the Disney-castle shaped zapper (which requires months of planning). I’m merely suggesting that once in a blue moon, you try it out. Go somewhere and allow yourself to defy the expectations of others. Do what you want – even if it is to hole up with your husband and have a low-key evening in a fluffy, white robe.
There’s such beauty to be found in the unplanned.
Want to find Narnia? Plan to forget your agenda.