Letters from Home

Vacationland: Switch off and Tune In

E Howard Needs a Vacation

I need a vacation.
Let’s all insert here for a minute the list of blessings I have.

  • Nice house
  • Good family
  • Everything I need and want (food, clothing, shelter)
  • Friends
  • Education
  • Human Rights
  • Time to meditate and do yoga
  • Lots of good books, and a library card too.
  • Many more

OK, even in the face of all these blessings, I know there comes a time when the mind and body need to get away.

Out of the normal, out of the routine, outside of life-par-normale. For longer than a couple of hours or a day.


Colin and I love to travel. We both agree we are most happy with he in the driver’s seat, me in the passenger’s seat, the iPod filled with music lists and podcasts, the van filled to the brim with chattering — or snoozy — ones, and the destination programed in the GPS. It’s the kind of time that lets us simulatneously switch off and tune in.

I can feel the physical changes in my body and my mind when we set off for “vacation.” Even if there’s traffic, arguments, or bad diners, the entire experience feels different.

I mean, not to sound idiotically obvious, but it feels, well, separate. Switched off, and tuned in.

But, we can’t take vacations right now.

Airfares disagree with our budget and our schedules seem to continually argue with any meaningful drive time.

So how do we teleport ourselves to Vacationland — to that place where we can all just chill for awhile — without leaving home? It seems to be a mystery I cannot solve.

I’m open to suggestions.

4 thoughts on “Vacationland: Switch off and Tune In

  1. Elaine and I have found that getting away for a long weekend a few times a year is a tonic for the soul. Just driving someplace 3-4 hours away is wonderful…

    I also like the movie idea….

  2. One thing I’ve found to work for a really cheap but truly fun time is to have a marathon (or one each day for several days) of old movies that the kids are finally old enough to see. Especially when the boys are on a break but hubby and I are still teaching, this has been a wonderful way to turn what could be a dismal week into something fun.

    One time it was Star Wars, another time it was Indiana Jones 1-3 right before the 4th one came out so we could end with a trip to the real movie theater. My favorite was last year, instead of travelling to Mass (from CA) to be with family for Thanksgiving, my 9 year old had an emergency appendectomy. So I begged, borrowed or purchased all 6 Harry Potters and we watched 2/each day once Logan was home from the hospital (BTW young boys recover EXTREMELY quickly from an appendectomy!) and then we went to see 7 part 1 in the theaters.

    Giving myself permission to just sit and watch the movies, really was that time out I needed.

    If movie marathons aren’t your thing, or too much of your regular routine, how about finding a new thing to do together? A tie dye day? Learn how to make a new kind of food and have a feast?? Building a clubhouse?

    1. Candy, we all LOVE movies! Our littlest one is 3.5 so she can now sit through a movie at home… and they all love movies like we do. I’ll look into that. I’ve started to introduce them to more live-action films (the only had seen mostly animated) and the one that REALLY caught on with them was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! Good old Rohld Dahl (sp?) … that movie is SO long and SO weird… it’s wonderful!
      Thanks for the suggestions… and the permission to veg!

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