Saturday, March 6, 2010

Traveling: Trips or Vacations?

Ah, relaxation. Spending a week in the Bahamas or the Caribbean, hanging out by the pool, taking walks along the beach at dusk, waving down the pool boy for another margarita, daiquiri or piña colada. I can't wait!
Except for the fact that Michael and I do not travel in such a way. Or at least, we have never gone anywhere together that resembled this fantasy of total relaxation. Abandoning all of one's troubles and thinking about nothing except whether to take a nap or have another beer sounds quite nice, when I come to think of it, but we function rather differently. I remember this past summer we were talking to a family friend about her honeymoon (we, by the way, went fly-fishing with family members for our honeymoon. It's a long story) and their experience. They went to a resort in Cancun that was similar to Sandals and highly recommended it to us. I really try not to judge people, but this is a woman who has traveled to Chile and Argentina and all over Europe, but she recommended an all-inclusive resort in Cancún, Mexico?! No. Not gonna happen. Ever.
Not that Michael and I dislike travel. If that were the case, we would not even be together, since we spent two years "together" thanks to coast-to-coast travel. Despite all of those miles logged, we actually only traveled together twoice before we got married and moved in together (we ended up being rather traditional, not living together, but it wasn't really planned that way). The first trip sort of resembled something like the image above - we went to Baja California, and we really did relax and enjoy ourselves. Fortunately we missed out on Cabo San Lucas, except for the day that we departed and we had to spend some time there, unfortunately. Most of the week was spent in a small town called Cabo Pulmo which is easy to get to - if you don't mind driving along dirt roads (they may be paved by now!). Despite the ominous sign of several buzzards feasting on a carcass as we drove into town, it was a beautiful little place, and we spent much of our time just hanging out.
The second travel experience was definitely NOT a vacation, although we had some great moments and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in Ecuador
As one can see:

Very exciting, as we wrestled with donkeys, suffered from altitude, and crouched in weird positions, looking cool and relaxed in all of these activities.
Although we have a very exciting upcoming trip in July/August, I fear that yet again we will be taking a trip and NOT taking a vacation. I shouldn't say I "fear" since we are going to France and Spain to visit friends, family, sightsee and hang out, but I must admit that I am gunning for a long weekend when we can be alone and do nothing but drink wine, eat cheese and stroll around a small village, preferably in the mountains, by a lake or by either the Mediterranean or the Cantabrian Sea (like San Sebastian, as a small example!).
Not that I am complaining about the fact that we are traveling to Europe - don't get the wrong idea. But I don't see a "vacation" in our future! Rather, we will be staying with friends in Paris as we tour various museums, see the final day of the Tour de France as they ride through Paris (I'm SO psyched about that), eat lots of baguettes, walk tons, go visit family and do more eating, walking, and touring. Shew!
And so, Michael and I were talking about travels over dinner on Thursday, and rather than specifically talking about this upcoming trip, we were daydreaming out loud to each other about our wish list. I said that I'd love to plan a trip to Thailand at the end of 2011. I think that trip actually WOULD let us vacation. I'm already dreaming of sparkling, warm water and amazing Thai food to eat every day. Maybe it was no coincidence that we were eating Thai food?
But, yes, a real vacation would be so nice one of these days...

What about others? Do you take trips or vacations? What places are on your 'wanderlust list'?

1 comment:

Kim said...

I definitely take more trips than vacations. I end up coming back tired and needing a week off. Ha. We are going to Maui in April though and that will be a vacation. I've been a dozen times (I know, I'm a lucky girl, my family has a condo there), so when we go, it's all about relaxing. Our honeymoon in Japan was definitely NOT a vacation. We were hiking all over the place. My husband got injured three times. I would love to explore more places in Europe (Italy, Greece, Prague, Croatia, Turkey), as well as South America (Argentina, Brazil). I like exploring, but I have to be mindful of the fact that I usually need some time off when I get back to take it all in.