The difference between vacations and THIS…

My favorite tree at the top of the hill
My favorite tree at the top of the hill

I’ve noticed some behavioral changes since I went out on this adventure and I can’t help but compare it to how I used to travel for vacations.  I had been to Costa Rica three times before I moved here.  I used to plan for each day in depth because obviously my time was limited and there were things I wanted to see and do.  I eventually got to the point where I was talked into NOT having a plan.  It was a little difficult and I think I still had things on the agenda, just not as structured.  I ended up liking that a whole lot more.  I really didn’t enjoy being like Jack on “Meet the Parents” where he had each minute accounted for but I didn’t realize that until I let go of it.

I found that when I first got here and was living in Cocles, I didn’t make plans to do ANYTHING.  I didn’t EVER go snorkeling like I said I would; I didn’t go visit the waterfalls or the national parks; I didn’t stand under a tree and look up in it expecting to see a sloth or a monkey.  Heck, you may remember that I didn’t even pay attention to what was in my own YARD!  I suppose I felt that I wasn’t rushed and that these things would come in time…which some of them did.  I felt like since I LIVED here now, there was no particular reason to rush into doing things.  As my friend says, “The plan is to not have a plan”.  Things change – the weather can play a big part in your ‘plans’, your mood has a lot to do with it and if you’re doing it with other people, THEIR plans can change at the last minute too.

So I’m finding that I like the fact that I’m not rushed but I do find myself putting things off FOREVER.  For instance, I have a favorite tree here that I love to look at when I go walking on the mountain.  It is very far away and on someone’s land.  I would LOVE to make the hike up to that tree and sit under it but I probably won’t.  My time in this town is coming to a close and I think I will regret not trying to go visit that tree.  So instead, I look at it, I painted a picture of it, I TOOK pictures of it and I’ll always remember that neat tree.  That will have to be good enough.  Maybe I don’t have to accomplish everything I want to do.  I am trying to make an effort though since I’ve become aware of this, to do the little things that mean a lot to me.

Maybe I will try to go sit under that tree after all.

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10 thoughts on “The difference between vacations and THIS…

  1. Dad July 28, 2013 / 9:03 pm

    As a retiree, I only have two rules. One, shave every day, otherwise you look like a bum. Two, you have to do one worthwhile thing a day. It doesn’t have to be anything earthshaking, just worthwhile. It adds value to your life.

    • StephieD July 29, 2013 / 8:12 am

      Haha, well I can’t say I shave everyday but I don’t think the monkeys mind. But yes, I think you’re right. I take that walk up the mountain everyday like I said I would and always see something different which makes me feel good!

  2. Camille Armantrout July 29, 2013 / 2:06 am

    Wise words. Doing something of value keeps me from climbing into bed at the end of the day and wondering why I bothered to climb out in the first place.

    That said, striking a balance between urgent and important takes practice. I’m learning to mix it up but still find myself forgetting to have fun and relax during a long day of attending to perceived “must do’s”.

    Maybe the window washing can wait until tomorrow while I enjoy reading my friend’s blog. 🙂

    • StephieD July 29, 2013 / 8:13 am

      You do more in one day than I do all WEEK, Camille! You always seem to find time for yourself and doing what you want. Hey, you’re a big part of the reason I’m here! You inspired me from Day 1!!

  3. ches July 29, 2013 / 3:23 am

    Go sit under the tree

    • StephieD July 29, 2013 / 8:13 am

      I really want to. I may inquire about it today 😉

  4. Mom July 29, 2013 / 5:27 am

    VERY true. This is exactly why we prefer longer trips to shorter ones, and staying in one area rather than trying to cram too much in. It is so much more enjoyable traveling the way you describe!

    • StephieD July 29, 2013 / 8:15 am

      I feel like if I ever take a ‘vacation’ again, it just won’t be the same anymore. I suppose those nomads out there who wander the world don’t want to have to vacation again…they just want it to be their LIFE. I can see where they’re coming from. I can feel you cringe from here, mom!

  5. JG July 30, 2013 / 4:06 pm

    Hey Steph….what a revelation! It’s amazing what one finds out about themselves when you step out of the rat race and into living! Kudos to you for smelling the roses…..or…sitting under your favorite tree.

    • StephieD July 30, 2013 / 4:16 pm

      Ahhh yes…I don’t miss a single day of REAL work…this is WAY better!!!

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