October 06, 2003
Michele and I just had a wonderful vacation. Along the way we discovered what makes travel a vacation and not a trip. For us, anyway, trips have goals and constraints that are beyond our control. Going on a cruise, or flight reservations, or having to accommodate family all make it more of a trip.
A vacation is about freedom from the normal, regular routine. We had three destinations, and only one that was fixed in time. Once we accomplished that we were free to go where we wanted, when we wanted. Instead of grabbing a quick meal at roadside fast-food franchises, we ventured into town and tried out restaurants we'd never heard of before. We allowed ourselves to get out of the car and relax. Without any deadlines, time wasn't a factor, and we felt no pressure to get there and get back again.
We also had time at home before the trip with no work or other commitments. In the past we have been good about giving ourselves a day or two at home following travel, but this was the first time with time-off up front. The added relaxation and break from routine made the away portion of our vacation even better.
I know that we'll be taking many more of these unstructured, and free to do as we please travels in the future. And I know that we finally understand what truly means vacation to us.