Vacation: The Perfect Prescription


One of our best vacations last year was a trip to Northern California where Bill and I spent time hiking in the Redwoods, driving along the coast, exploring the wine country, connecting with loved family members, and just being. Ten days of fantastic vacationing.

I recall being at the airport before boarding the plane back to Minneapolis. From my cell phone, I checked in with a few family members back home, and each call eagerly began with the voice on the other end saying, “So, what was the highlight of your trip?” And each time, my mind raced, struggling with a battle inside of what an appropriate response might be…you know, those “should’s.”

I felt like I should respond with: “Being in the presence of those magnificent ancient Redwoods” (which, they were magnificent!) or “Feeling moved to tears as we saw Mount Shasta making its presence known in the horizon” (which really did move me) or “Driving along the rugged California coast and looking out at the ocean” (yes, what a sight!).

But I knew that if I were to give the response that came straight from the depth of my heart and soul, it would be even “bigger” than any of those other canned answers. Simply put, my honest answer to our vacation highlight would be: “Disconnecting from the daily routine of life.”

Ditching the structure

Back home, I love my structure. I thrive well on a plan. I tend to enjoy the routine I have created for myself. But oh, what a whole world can open up to you if you allow yourself to “disconnect” from that once in a while! And vacation is a great way to gently force you to detach from the daily rituals you have created. In fact, when I do disengage from my routines, what I find that I am actually doing—on a higher level—is connecting with myself.

I like to think that I do a pretty good job of all of this, even when I’m caught up in those earthly, daily routines. And I’m good at having fun and following my joy. What I learned from this trip, though, is that life can be even better when we take the time to step back and disconnect, in a sense, so that we may fully “re-connect” once again to our wonderful, magical selves.

Rockefeller Forest Sign

While I was fortunate to have a full ten days to experience this, it doesn’t have to be nearly that long! In the summer, a treat for me is to leave my home office for an hour or so at lunch. I sit out on a nearby public patio overlooking a pond with a beautiful fountain, enjoying my salad. And every single time, I feel like I’m on vacation. It does wonders for my spirit!

Give yourself a break

So when you’re planning out your day, week, or month and scheduling in appointments and tasks and “to-do’s”…be sure to also schedule in some time to disconnect from everything. Even if it’s only for a half-hour during the day. And then be open to what you might find there. It’s definitely the perfect prescription for recharging your batteries, getting to know yourself better, and ultimately being more equipped to jump back in and live your life.

What types of “vacations” do you enjoy and when will you plan your next one?

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4 Responses to “Vacation: The Perfect Prescription”

  • Peggy says:

    Hi Michelle!

    Vacations are my way to suspend reality. One of my favorite trips was to Playa del Carmen, Mexico in 2004. I went with my two daughters (16 & 19 at the time), my sister, her husband, my mom and her husband. Mexico happended 7 weeks after my mastectomy and one week before I started chemo…it was a week that my girls and I needed to suspend reality and for one week cancer didn't exist.

    …hmmm…thanks for giving me an idea for something…

    oh…and my most recent week of reality suspension – May 2009 – Richard and I spent 7 glorious days in the Turks & Caicos with both my sisters, both my brothers-in-law and my mom and her husband.

    (uh-oh – another idea!)

    Thanks for reminding us how vacations are so needed in our lives!

  • Of course I love a trip to Maui…but in the meantime, I love mini-getaways. Just an hour looking through shops, walking on the beach, sipping an iced tea and reading at a coffee shop, eating outside at one of my favorite lunch places. That is living the good life. Those little breaks keep me refreshed!

  • You know, I was just thinking today that I might want to take a vacation. Even though I haven't been officially working (for the man!), every day has been filled with things to do: cleaning an old house, repainting a room, writing a book, volunteering my marketing skills to do press & such for an organization I value… And the days just zip by. They're good days, mind you, but disconnecting from the "norm" and recharging with something else would be terrific.

    And I just came from visiting Davina's blog, which is her chapter-by-chapter summary of how her vacation is going.

    Thanks, Michelle! Not sure how I'll implement this yet, but I know I'd like to.

  • You've all given me much to think about! I love the idea of "suspending reality"…especially, Peggy, where you said "cancer didn't exist." Incredibly powerful.

    And Jodi and Megan, you've got me thinking about how will I "refresh" and "recharge" today. I actually feel peaceful just thinking about it!

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Michelle Stimpson: Editor/Writer

Michelle Stimpson Hi and thanks for visiting - so glad you're here! This blog is especially for cool people who want to experience joy and live a life of purpose. Welcome!

Here you'll find great stories that will inspire you and remind you that life is good, and there's an abundance of joy all around us. Simply put: When you follow the things in life that make you come alive and bring you joy...the magic begins to unfold.

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Michelle Joy Stimpson
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Life Coach, LifeShine

Bill Stimpson: Partner-In-Crime

Bill Stimpson Hi! Not only will you see me “show up” in many of Michelle’s stories and posts here, but I also serve as Michelle’s editor, helping her clarify intentions and make her posts shine.

One of the great joys in my life is being involved with this blog! It’s a constant reminder for me to focus on the things that bring me joy. It also feels great to be sharing so many of these joys with you - in hopes that you, too, will find ways to focus on your own joyful experiences.

Here's to an abundance of joy in your life!

Bill Stimpson
Hubby & Associate Editor

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