The Vacation We Needed
Sometimes it’s stressful getting ready for a vacation. I feel like I have to finish up all my work so that I can stay unconnected while I’m away. For some reason, this time, the emails kept coming in even at 10 pm the night before we left. It had been a full day, with meetings and then driving out to a village to do a teaching. And the morning before we left, I felt the need to stop in at ABC for a clinician conference, and then run the dogs so they didn’t have too much energy. By the time we finally left, I was already tired and definitely ready to get away.
The trip was easy, as easy as driving in Malawi usually is. Lots of potholes and an entire portion of the road diverted to some flooded wet areas, but we arrived in good time. It was lovely arriving at our friends’ lake retreat – blue skies and open lawns for lounging. We just relaxed outside the first afternoon. But I was already feeling a bit of anxiety about the next day. Would we snorkel? Would we take a boat to the island? What about kayaking or bike riding or jogging down the road or walking down the beach? Leave it to me to stress out about how we vacation.
That night, it rained heavily, and then the rain continued throughout the next day. We did walk down the beach, and I did a workout on the deck overlooking the water, and I read a bit and drank a lot of tea and ate a lot of snacks. But we didn’t do much. We planned to leave after the second night, but the roads had flooded with all the rain. Our friend invited us to stay a third night, so we got a bonus day at the beach – this time enjoying the sun sparkling on the water.
We still didn’t do much, we were fully in relaxed mode at that point, so we listened to the water and read and lounged on couches in covered areas. We stayed out of the now blazing sun, we fought to keep ants away from our treats. By the end of the third day, I was running out of my treat stash of chocolate and tea that I brought with me, but everything else was idyllic. Greg and I were finally able to talk through some things like plans for the future. I read a couple novels. We ate dinner with our friend. We enjoyed the sun and the shade and the bliss of not having to do anything. I napped. We went to bed early. And when it was time to leave, we were rested, and the roads were passable.
It wasn’t the vacation we planned, but it was definitely the vacation we needed.