Relaxing on a sunny beach? Nope. Hiking in giant redwoods? Nope. Cruising to a quiet anchorage? Nope.
Vacations are relative. To me a vacation is being in a different place and doing something you don’t usually do. Hopefully it nourishes your soul and gives you energy and a positive outlook when you return.
My vacation this year strained my eardrums and challenged my dexterity while sitting in air-conditioned rooms balancing an Ipad with a keyboard on my lap. The place was Denver and I was at a writer’s conference. And yes, I left feeling energized and renewed.
A vacation? Let’s call it a working vacation because I was there to learn. Four days of not having to cook, clean, shop, run errands, and negotiate freeways while seeing friends who live far away from me was the relaxing part.
What did I learn on this summer vacation?
First, hearing a speaker means sitting in the first row because they don’t always talk into the microphone. Second, it’s time to get my glasses checked—the projected slides were hard to read. Third, one can walk miles a day being in a hotel constructed by joining two buildings together without good access. Fourth, meeting Facebook friends in person is a real hoot. And finally, I can survive without chocolate.
I’m hoping the sessions I chose will make me a better writer. Some were on writing emotion and perfecting deep point of view. Others were about marketing—how to get a book to stand out among the millions out there on the various platforms. A few were about taking care of yourself, something those of us who are caretakers for others, don’t always do.
Was Capt. Mark with me? He was. The trip wasn’t the kind of vacations we had in the past, but different scenery and a chance to get out of the daily routine is important for him, too. We took his travel chair, a little wheelchair that folds up and can be checked like baggage, so he could get around safely in a crowd.
Vacation is over and I’m back at my daily grind.
But I have new knowledge and lots of plans.