Written by Kristin Anderson on December 15, 2009
I recently did something wild and crazy.
I took a vacation.
For some of you this may seem nuts because you take vacations all the time. For others, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You’ve somehow taken a lot of trips in your life — for weddings, funerals, graduations, holidays — but the “vacation” is a foreign concept. Who has time for vacations when you’re busy being sick? And never mind the mounting medical bills. Did I mention that airplanes are massive Petri dishes just waiting to attack our ravaged immune systems?
But yes, I took a vacation. A real one. It was all about me. And I nearly went into shock.
This vacation had a little bit of everything — adventure, romance, warm weather, cold weather (even snow!), gourmet food, spa treatments, great music, a nearly perfect full moon and clear sky full of stars. I crossed off a few items on the ol’ bucket list.
As soon as I jumped out of the rental car at our Scottsdale resort, I immediately felt the magic of my vacation take hold. The warmth and dry air of the desert were like a salve, clearing out my joints and muscles, carrying away the pain that just a few hours earlier was penetrating my hips, back and shoulders. I talked for a good 10 minutes about the pure ecstasy of this pain-free feeling. If only I could get my boyfriend to understand what it felt like!
I loved every invigorating breath as we hiked in 28-degree snowy weather in Grand Canyon National Park. My fear of heights took flight and vanished as we soared 3,000 feet into the air in a hot air balloon at sunrise over the desert.
My back and legs almost rejected the ridiculous comfort of the chaise lounge on our hotel room patio and the cushy pillows and seven layers of pillow top on our room’s “Divine” bed. I loved every invigorating breath as we hiked in 28-degree snowy weather in Grand Canyon National Park. My fear of heights took flight and vanished as we soared 3,000 feet into the air in a hot air balloon at sunrise over the desert. I satisfied my need for speed by riding my first ATV (and managed to wrestle down a bush … or two). I dreamt of Spain while devouring delicious empanadas and melt-in-your-mouth churros day after day after day.
By the end of my vacay, I felt like I had joined a secret club: that group of misfits that go on two-week honeymoons and plan four-week vacations one year in advance. By day five my voice had a lilt and was higher pitched, I was speaking in superlatives, and my right shoulder, usually hiked up higher than the left, had suddenly relaxed. Gooooood stuff.
A four-week vacay may be a little bit unrealistic for my bank account, but a girl can dream, right? At the very least, this gypsy has banished “trip” from her vocabulary.