Monday, November 17, 2014


It's always a temptation to go go go when you are traveling.  You spent all this time and money getting here and who may never be here again, right?  So you want to see all the sights and take advantage of every activity, museum, hike, ethnic restaurant, and on and on and on.

Ummm...maybe not such a good idea.  You can end up so tired that you end up not enjoying any of it, or worse still, getting sick.

Costa Rica 
I'm going to advocate in today's lesson for the virtue of laziness...taking the time to really relax and just BE during your vacation.  You can find ways to both enjoy the experience of being in a new location and of taking it slow.  Of course, in tropical or beach locations, this is easy.  What can beat the relaxation of lying on the beach soaking up the sun and listening to the waves?

Watching the waves
Whenever we can, Rob and I try to find hotels with a balcony.  It encourages us to take life a little slower.  We often cook our own meals and enjoy them while watching the sun go down in the distance.

But even when you are not in oceanside locations that just call for relaxation, you can find ways to take part in the slower pace that is the way of life for many people throughout the world.  In Europe, one of the greatest pleasures of the day is sitting in a sidewalk cafe, sipping your coffee and enjoying the parade of people going by.  This is also a good way to connect with the locals who are often happy to engage in conversation with visitors.  I also use these little breaks in the day to jot observations down in my travel journal.

Rob and I also try to limit each trip to a smaller number of locations.  For example, rather than trying to tour the British Isles, we explored only Ireland for three weeks, which gave us the opportunity to take the time we needed to see much of the country AND have time to hang out in the pubs or discover a Celtic musical program or just chat with the charming people.

Americans tend to live our lives at home at a busy pace.  Our work ethic sometimes affects our "play ethic" in two ways.  Some of us are so driven by work that we just don't take the time to play, while others of us throw ourselves into recreational activities just as frantically as we work...going from one activity to the next all weekend long, putting our children into numerous different lessons, sports clubs, school activities, etc.  Most of us handle this well at home, but don't feel you have to run a marathon when you travel!  You will get far more out of your trips if you take time to relax, connect with people, and really explore the places you visit, rather than zipping from one sight to the next.

What are some of the ways YOU find to relax on your travels?


  1. Great suggestions, Joan, and excellent commentary on the NEED for getting away from the break-neck pace of home and work.

    We like to take our time in one place, too, and soak up the atmosphere. So, we do the same as you and Rob by limiting our area, planning some of the time, and leaving the rest open to new suggestions and what we learn about the place. Part of our relaxation when we travel is being in nature, taking hikes or visiting botanical gardens.

    Thanks again for a thoughtful travel lesson. xoA

    1. I agree, Annis. Enjoying nature is one of the greatest joys of traveling!

  2. Love this! And I wish we had the opportunity to live the cafe life some of the time here in the States. I'm not too proud to say it! And I agree. Better to spend more time in one location. Deeper is better than wider when it comes to travel.