Vacations are More than Just the Trip
Updated: Apr 6
I woke up early today to a perfect morning. It was a crisp 64°F outside with a soft breeze, endless blue sky, and sunshine. A perfect morning to enjoy coffee, mindfulness, gratitude, and prayer out on my balcony.
Closing my eyes and taking in the breeze and the singing of the birds brought back a memory of my first “vacation” by myself. Not one that you’re going to expect from a travel agent. Instead, I could smell the burning wood of a campfire and the earthy scent of the woods that then slowly ushered in one memory after another of a long-ago summer week at Camp Cherith in the Poconos, circa 1973.
Along with my closest friend from Pioneer Girls and church, I was finally at the camp that I had looked forward to for months. I imagine my parents had to work hard on the budget for me to have this trip. It was my first time away from family for a week and my first-time camping.
“The best things in life are the people we love,
The places we’ve been,
And the memories we’ve made along the way.”
While I didn’t recall a lot of details, I closed my eyes and smelled the smells, heard the laughter, and recalled snapshots of a wonderful week. The photos and short videos in my mind were of archery and horseback riding, both also firsts for me. Of walks and swimming, Bible studies, and sing-alongs. And of the Camp Store where I bought a souvenir, a camp t-shirt that I recall wearing many times over those next couple of years.
I probably haven’t thought of that summer camp trip in decades. What a beautiful gift this morning when a few minutes of being still and mindfulness brought back memories through my senses. Many things to reach back and be thankful for from the opportunity of the camp to family that supported me going on the trip to the counselors, the experiences and now the memories. A lot of gratitude shared in prayer.
Our vacations give us well-needed breaks, but they are so much more. Whether it’s a camping trip, cruising down the Nile, or seeing the wildlife during an African safari. They all shape us, give us insight into ourselves, teach us, and sit in a place in our minds for as long as we have memories.
Time may take away the smaller details of our trips, but no one can take away our experiences and memories. Those are the after-effects of vacations that you get to keep.
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