I am supposed to be on a getaway with a dear friend, but life happened and we had to cancel last minute. I was so looking forward to getting away from it all, and I know she was as well. It was just a road trip, but getting there was going to be half of the journey. The weather was perfect, coffee was in hand, and the trip had just started, and just as fast as it started, life yanked us back in.
I realized as I sat in my car with my packed bags, that crying about not being able to go was not going to make me feel any better, even though I couldn’t help but feel a huge let-down. I moped around all day and then I really started to understand this quote “We travel, not to escape life, but for life not to escape us”. My own sanity needed some time away, and I am pretty certain my friend’s did too. We are both nurses, and I think it’s impossible for our non-nurse friends and family members to get what a toll the job can take on us. As patient’s are fighting for their lives or getting life altering diagnoses all around us, we have to remain strong and composed for them, and some days it is just daunting. Try as I might, the emotional toll of watching a 30-something get diagnosed with fatal cancer never gets easier. Just because I don’t personally know them, doesn’t mean I don’t “feel” it to my core.
Thinking about all of this is when I finally understood how the quote applied to me. I am not trying to escape my life by traveling, but rather I am trying to breathe new life in to it! Just as a car won’t run on fumes alone, neither can a human. The only difference is, we as humans must fuel up with experiences that fill our heart and soul in order to keep moving forward. That doesn’t mean we have to pack up and fly to a new place every couple of months, but we do have to find ways to escape the demands of everyday life. Things like getaways with our friends, our spouse, or our children. When there isn’t time for a getaway, a night out to dinner and a movie, or dinner and dancing. Things that take away some of the responsibilities of life.
For me, traveling, whether short or long trips, is a chance to relax, to try new things and see new places. I have been down the Washington Coast before (our destination before the last minute cancellation), but I had mapped out new places to explore and new restaurants to try, but most of all I looked forward to decompressing with my friend. I was looking forward to the girl talk, beach walks and photo taking, however, it was not meant to be. I do believe the universe, a higher power, or God (whichever you believe in) was telling us “not now”, and while there was disappointment all around, neither one of us could deny the timing of “not now”.
In one of my previous blog posts, I talked about why travel is good for the soul. The events of the past few days have really solidified this, as my soul needs a bit of an awakening or refueling. I was trying to think of ways to fill my tank today, trying to decide if I wanted to go for a hike, or a drive with my hubby, and I couldn’t come up with a plan, as I had no motivation, and was suffering from a wretched headache. My husband suggested we take the dogs for a walk by the harbor and then go try a new food truck for an early dinner. Right then a weight lifted, as I had been wracking my brain trying to figure out what to make for dinner, even searching recipes online with nothing really appealing to me. Taking away the responsibility of cooking dinner, and forcing me to get out an move was enough to change my spirits and lift the fog I was in. Now, I am not going to lie, taking the dogs for a walk when I go along is like watching a side show circus act where they weave back and forth and all around trying to wrap us up in the leash or trip us. For whatever reason, the get so excited that Mom is coming with, they cannot listen to commands to save their lives. Frankly, it was a bit exhausting all on it’s own. But, after we returned home and ate our delicious dinner, I was able to return to my recipe searches and find some new meals to make over the next few nights. Maybe fuel for the heart and soul is really an attitude adjustment, but either way, it has the same outcome.
My next getaway is planned for late November with my hubby. We are praying for snow so he can get back on the mountain and ski at Whistler. Last year, during a trip with our young adult children, his passion for skiing was rekindled, and while I won’t be joining him up on the slopes (I am not allowed to ski unless I am willing to fully wrap myself in bubble wrap on top of every other piece of protective gear ever made), I will be happily sitting in front of the fire reading through my kindle full of books I haven’t gotten to yet, and getting out to take photos, another of my passions. It is not a new vacation location for us, but there are tons of new adventures to be had, restaurants to try, and memories to be made. This indeed will fill my heart and soul, and I cannot wait, because we travel so that life does not escape us.