RTD: The Magic of a Winter Vacation

AreflectThere’s something about vacation, and the days directly after vacation, that is borderline magical.

I’m in this special place right now after just returning from a family vacation to Florida. We escaped a bitter, tedious winter in the Northeast and suddenly found ourselves in something of a paradise. And to answer your next question, yes the kids were with us. We even brought them home.

Now that’s magic.

But what I sit here and ponder right now, and what I would like to discuss with you this week, is the source of this bliss that you feel during vacation and the days afterwards. What is it about vacation that puts you in a zen-like state of mind? Is it as simple as getting away from everyday life and all its responsibilities? Away from traffic, cleaning, cooking, working? For the purpose of this discussion, is it the result of escaping the cold to warmer pastures? Or is it more subconscious and from the repeated exposure to something like the sound of waves lapping against the beach or the calls of unfamiliar wildlife serenading each other at night? Maybe it’s a result of the new things you discover, experience and learn about? Or even the people you see and sometimes meet, sharing that special time and place with you?

One thing I can’t get out of my mind is the fairly consistent nod, wave, or hello I would exchange with other parents as we walked around the resort. When you’re with kids, you go to kid friendly places. When you’re not with kids, you go anywhere but. The result is seeing others in the same boat as you who are having the same good time as you and there seems to be an urge to share that knowledge with each other through a simple greeting of sorts. Sometimes just a knowing smile, other times a short conversation based on the team or city on one of your shirts, and then there are even those people who become short-time friends after you see them over and over when your schedules are in sync.

I don’t know, that part stood out for me for some reason. I really enjoyed seeing other parents on vacation with their kids and the activities they were doing together, the fun they were having with each other, and yes, the parenting and discipline we all still have to do even when on vacation.

Of course I also enjoyed the late nights, not cooking or cleaning, not having to go to work, playing on the beach, playing on the beautiful grass with palm trees overhead in the common area behind our hotel, taking nature walks and teaching our kids about dolphins, manatees, ospreys, pelicans, mangroves, and sea shells, not setting an alarm clock, watching the sun set, asking the kids what their favorite part of the day was and doing the same with my wife after they were in bed and we enjoyed a glass of wine on our hotel balcony.

February and March can be very challenging months and escaping to a habitat not your own is a special thing that I recommend to all. We’ve talked before about local travel being just as special (Wander Near, Local Travel Can Be Very Rewarding), and it is, because I think the key here is simply breaking your routine and switching your environment to not only give your mind and body a little rest, but also to stimulate areas that may have been getting too much rest.

This Wednesday 6pm PST / 9pm EST, join us on Twitter to share your thoughts on winter vacation — favorite family memories and destinations, wish list spots, rules of thumb, takeaways, the magic of it all and even ways in which we can replicate that magic back home.

Use the #DadsRT hashtag to follow along and participate.


The Beginning
About Brad the Dad

Enjoy a unique, fresh and entertaining perspective on parenting as Brad the Dad learns what it takes to raise 2 boys in today's world. #DadsRT co-founder.

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