Author’s Note: Paracelsus said “all things are poisons: there is none which is not a poison.” In my debut Basement piece, I warped that statement so that I could cover “all things” in my column while adhering to its title. Every other week, I discuss whatever it is that consumes my mind at the time the article is penned.
Let me paint a picture for you. You are sitting on a beach. The warm breeze plays with your hair as you sit on fine sand the color of lightly bronzed skin and let the crystal clear waves wash over your feet. A few hundred feet down the shore a harbor seal is resting in the sun. Don’t worry, he has been roped off to keep curious onlookers from harassing him. A mere 5 feet from you, a flock of sea turtles – aye, seaaa turrrtles – frolics in the breaking waves. (Ok, so I looked it up and apparently a group of turtles is properly referred to as a bale, but I like it my way better). But I digress.
The picture I’m trying to paint for you here is that you are on one of the most picturesque beaches in the world. You may even be enjoying a locally crafted microbrew with a hint of toasted coconut brewed right in. You are living it, and the great news is that you’ve got another 6 days ahead of you in this paradise.
That was me about 8 days ago, taking in the sunset on Tunnels beach on the luscious “Garden Island” of Kaua’i, Hawai’i. That evening and the week that followed were so completely amazing and awe-inspiring that I cannot put it into words. We did it all, and I mean it all. We went on a helicopter tour that was just mind blowing, and a perfect way to kick-start our vacation. We stopped off at waterfalls viewable from roadside overlooks. We went to five different beaches, two of them twice, including what turned out to be practically our own private beach on the Navy installation. We saw a natural blowhole, a 3,500 ft deep canyon, a tunnel formed by eucalyptus trees and countless wild chickens. We even tossed our one-year-old on my back and hiked two miles along the Na’pali coast. Like I said, it was totally awesome, in the most literal sense of that word.
Yet here I sit, after an additional two-day mini-vacation in San Francisco on our way back to the east coast, completely jet-lagged and in desperate need of a vacation from my vacation. I mean really, am I supposed to be able to traverse six time zones to the east and function properly? Heading west was great, I’d wake up on my own at about six in the morning and my head would just pop right off the pillow ready for a fun filled day of vacation. Three hours to the east in San Fran it took everything I had to drag myself out of bed before ten today. That’s why I’m taking a
It’s not a new concept. Anyone who has even taken a weekend trip within the same time zone knows how physically and mentally draining travel can be. Add in an interruption of the circadian rhythm and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. With that in mind, I took two weeks off of work knowing very well that both my bank account and my body could only afford about ten days away from home. I have one more travel day ahead of me, but after that I’ll be back at home enjoying my own little four day weekend while I shift gears from vacation overdrive back to the sustainable marathon of life in the real world. I think you should do the same.
Think about it. If there is anything that can possibly top a week in paradise, it would have to be coming home from a week in paradise to a relaxing, slow paced recovery at home. You get to delay the onset of stress from the pile of papers on your desk at work. You can re-stock your refrigerator and pantry. Most importantly, you can even unpack your bags and return your house to its proper order, all at your own leisure.
Sure, we may have been able to hit a few more attractions and there isn’t any question that we would have loved any extra time at the beach, but I think there is a lot to be said for actually returning from vacation with batteries fully charged. In my opinion it sure beats a week of tripping over half-unpacked suitcases looking as if they have
literally exploded at random points throughout the house.
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