Value in Getting Away

Note: This post is part of a group writing project for for this month sponsored by Laity Lodge and which we’re hosting here at SuccessCREEations, Inc. The topic is Retreat! Retreat! Retreat! While the main drawing has already happened you can still participate in the writing project until the end of the month and get a discount on selected retreats for you and your readers.

Chris & Gorgeous in Colorado

Connectivity Culture

We live in a culture that is continuously connected. I’m as connected as anyone because of what I do here at SuccessCREEations, Inc.

Between blogging, a bunch of email addresses, four instant messaging accounts, Skype, 300+ feeds in my feed reader, and all the various social media sites I’m active on it can be a never ending stream of information.

And it’s getting worse, or better, depending on your viewpoint. With services like Twitter that can follow you around on your cell phone it is easier than ever to keep yourself wired in.

Out of the Vacation Habit

I grew up in a family where most all vacation time was spent going to visit family, usually over holidays. Most of you would probably agree that visiting family often isn’t really a vacation at all. Sometimes it can be even more stressful than every day life!

Gorgeous is from a family that had more healthy vacation habits. But unfortunately in our marriage we’d fallen into my way of doing things what with parental failing health issues and all.

In the ten years of our marriage we can only remember one real vacation where we weren’t visiting family or attending a conference or some such.

Making an Occasion Special

As we were coming up on our 10th wedding anniversary this spring we decided we wanted to take a trip to get away an mark the occasion in a special way. We wanted to take a long weekend and go someplace different.

Fatboy & Lowrider ready for a tripWe chose Colorado because we’d never been to the mountains together. With my career working around the ships we’ve always been pretty tied to the coast. To someone in the low country of Savannah the Rocky Mountains are decidedly different.

I think the last time they had snow here was like in 1989.

Our idea was to get to the mountains and get some downtime. I did bring my laptop and cell phone with the idea that I could do a little work along the way.

Fatboy and Lowrider thought it was a smashing plan and tried to get themselves packed in with our luggage so they could tag along. Gorgeous thought better of that idea and rousted them from the suitcase.

We ended up in Glenwood Springs and what attracted us to the place was that big old hot springs fed pool that stays toasty warm all year long. In the end we stayed pretty much disconnected from the internet, didn’t use the cell phone hardly at all.

Chris & Gorgeous in ColoradoWhat we did instead was spend a lot of time soaking in the natural beauty of the mountains. The two of us talked a lot, just the two of us, about all sorts of things and about not much at all.

We drove around and explored some new places. We had no agendas, woke up without an alarm clock, and found places to eat when we got hungry, and went to sleep when we were tired.

Along the way we found all sorts of interesting folks to talk with. It didn’t matter to us whether it was a waitress where we were having lunch or dinner, a shopkeeper in a gift shop, a fellow vacationer in the hot springs pool, the check out clerk in a major chain store, or the folks working at the tourist information center, we seemed to always find interesting people to connect with.

It was a tremendously refreshing weekend for both of us.

Take Aways

Here are some things I learned from that time away

  • There are interesting people everywhere you go. Take the time to strike up a conversation.
  • We had gotten way more stressed out than we realized. Looking back we realized that we’ve been through a very stressful couple of years without much of a break. But like the frog floating in the pot that doesn’t notice the heat being slowly turned up, we had no idea how much the stress had been building until we got away for a bit.
  • We needed some perspective. Getting away helped us get a better perspective on what all we are facing in our lives. When we got back home our problems didn’t seem quite so overwhelming.
  • We need to make vacations a regular part of our lives. Moving forward Gorgeous and I agreed that we will be carving out regular vacations from here on out. Besides, if God took a break after he made the universe, what am I doing thinking I can go wide open and never take a break?
  • Seems like there’s two colors of dirt in Colorado, red and tan. Either one can be very dusty. And sometimes the color switches in a very clear cut line right down the side of a mountain.

OK. So that last one isn’t very profound. But it was something I learned out there.

So how do you see vacations? Do you take regular time to just get away? Or does all your vacation time get used on obligations like visiting family? runs on the Genesis Framework

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  1. I worked as a contractor for so long, we don’t even know how to do it anymore! When I was working I had to be there, and when I wasn’t, we had to watch the cash flow. Now that I actually have vacation time accumulated, we can’t even figure out what to do with it. Luckily, we have a really cool retreat coming… 😉

    We have to re-learn, like you did, that “going” all the time ain’t no way to be!

  2. Howdy,
    A lot of my recent vacations are by necessity close to home.
    I have to break them up into three- or four-day ones now and miss driving long-distances stopping at anything that looks remotely interesting.
    They are a necessity. I agree they should be made a regular part of life.
    But once you throw in children the whole dynamic changes. There’s more responsibility and structure needed – another reason I favor shorter jaunts that are easier to plan until the children are old enough to weather a long trip.

  3. Heya Robert! Sometimes it’s tough for us to change our habits, even when they are so beneficial for us.

    Howdy back at ya, Samuel! Kids do make traveling more complicated. But I think it’s worth the extra effort so that the children learn healthy habits.

    I’m a fan of shorter trips myself. Our get away to Colorado was only 5 days and two of those days were travel days.

  4. Man, getting away sounds nice. I haven’t had a real vacation in probably 8 years. The most I get is a day or two and that’s never to relax. For instance, this week I am driving 9 hours to my nephew’s wedding in upstate Michigan. And then back a couple days later. THAT doesn’t qualify as “getting away”.

    I keep thinking I should. And then I think too busy. And then Tim Russert dies, and I hear he’d just gotten back from a vacation in Italy with his wife and son the day before…and I think…yeah, I really need to get away. Y’know…cuz ya never know. 😉

  5. I agree taking a vacation is great – not only the vacation but it makes the rest of life more manageable. I have posted on some of my trips: Curious Cat Travels.

  6. I haven’t had a vacation for about 4 years. Definitely time to go someplace. Course, most people come here on vacation…never have to worry about family visiting. 🙂

  7. There is more then value in giving yourself a break and get away to somewhere nice and away from all the stress and relax and enjoy the stay.

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