Who has time for a full-blown vacation?

Posted: July 19, 2016 10:00 am  

Not me. 

At least not the kind of vacation that my family and I became accustomed to where we were gone two weeks each summer. Two consecutive weeks when we were lucky. For these trips we would rent a large house right on the beach along the gulf coast. That is long enough to start contemplating remodeling one of the bedrooms or perhaps a bathroom. You know, remove some of the sketches of shells or shore birds or perhaps swap out the lighthouse statuette and tone down the beach kitsch.  We love pretty much any ocean but the beaches along the gulf consist of white powder sand that somehow does not stick to one’s body or beach gear very long and the waves are generally more subtle than those found along the east coast. Particularly perfect if you happen to have a brood of little ones, like I did at the time, who could get in the water and not be beaten silly or swept away. 

That was then…..this is now.

We all knew heading into this summer that, because of my wife’s work and mine coupled with my daughters’ swim schedules, we would not be able to experience a full-blown vacation this year, and so we have made an effort to squeeze in several mini-getaways.  I have to admit that at first, we were all a bit disappointed at having to resort to this but we quickly began to realize that this approach is much more interesting.  We have found that while more research and planning is needed to pull it off the result is that we have, and will continue to have throughout the remainder of this summer, a number of differing experiences.  So, instead of sitting on the same beach every day for two weeks we have gone zip-lining and camping.  We have gone for more hikes this year than ever and we have traveled to cities that were unknown to us to hear live music and explore the local food culture. I am working on one more camping trip to West Virginia in order to get in a little white-water rafting, another example of what we have not experienced before, before the season ends. 

Everyone of us needs to find time away from work and spend time with our favorite people.  What I have learned though is that I personally don’t have to have the two week beach trip to feel like I’ve had an adventure or maximized my summer.  Instead, I have found that a bunch of smaller trips are at least as equally satisfying and educational for my entire family.