I’ve been back home from vacation for eighteen hours and am still enjoying the vacation effect. That is the calm, serene, peaceful feeling created by being away from the often stressful scene that currently defines my “normal” life.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have enjoyed several great road trips during the past few years and each has produced this effect. The memories and souvenirs from each of those good times sporadically punctuate the “normal” and help me survive it in a better frame of mind.
The temporary souvenirs of this trip are funny. A lingering sunburn reminds me of an afternoon beach walk with my cousin. Swollen ankles and a brown stain on my favorite khaki shorts caused by a sweaty leather belt bring back the joy of a hiking adventure with a great friend.
My more permanent vacation souvenirs usually consist of hats, t-shirts or coffee mugs but I purchased none of those this time. The real reminders are in my head and in my photographs. Random glimpses: a white wine toast to an earlier visit, original music from four talented songwriters at an open mic night, a growing friendship with two family members, the sound of a Mercury inboard boat engine, four waterfalls, conversations about struggling to achieve dreams, a couple of hugs, the sound of chirping birds and buzzing bugs blending with the sight of a beautiful vista at a roadside overlook.
The photographs bring back the best parts of an awesome vacation and I have 200 of them to revisit whenever I choose to. I’ll share many with you, many more with the people I spent time with on this trip and the rest are all for me.
I encountered the first challenge to the peacefulness during the first five minutes of my return and a few more times during the past eighteen hours, but my “souvenirs” have provided the balance I need to stay positive.