As I am preparing for travel, I find I have complete peace. This yearly trip to the ocean was the first time I was packing my bags and not escaping from my life.
Have you been there? The stress and pressures of life are so unbearable you need the escape of routine and a place of peace and break and mindless, non-decision making environment. I want to recognize that I am not over analyzing everything, I am simply more aware and asking, "How does this feel?" And ya know what?? This feels darn good! Vacation feels like exploration and relaxation, not "I need to escape from this hell ride"!
My son, when he was younger, in his sweet voice would say "I want to go home" and he would ask frequently and I would ask, where is home? "Florida", he always responded with Florida.
On some level, we both knew Florida was an escape from the tensions of living with a toxic person. On vacation, we found relief, he would back off on some level but there was always some sort of drama on vacation where there would never be a real family connection. Looking back now, how profound that this 5-year-old could sense the difference and ask for relief to "go home".
We've experienced 4 vacations in the same location since and this one was different. There was an undeniable peace and it was about time together, discovery and fun in a place we love. This wasn't about an "escape" from the toxic person, life or the circumstances we were living through.
It's interesting that when you're in it, you can't see it. I had no idea I was escaping and it also was a bit confusing because I was trying to escape the circumstances of the crazy-making with the person creating the crazy making. On one level it was a relief from everyday crazy-making, but on vacation, there was a new and different crazy-making and it always brought a sabotage of having a good time or a new drama.
When it lifts, you finally realize what you have been living with. When you grow and work towards finding the joy, gratitude and living in peace (even in the circumstances) there is a whole new perspective of the actions and choices we make.
Where did this thought come from and the transition? This was not an overnight realization, over the past, almost four years, I have been working diligently at being more aware and healing from my circumstances. I have been working on my thinking, healing it and healing my hurt heart. In all of it, I am more aware of all going on around me and I am recognizing my passions, my desires and blooming into the best version of me.
Life is good and travel is a choice now and it brings a level of enjoyment I haven't experienced in a long time. Travel is now a place to explore, reflect, take in the new scenery and be in a creative place. Being out of my daily environment and enjoying a new place is an inspiration and no longer an escape.
This journey of growing and rising up from my circumstances has made me more aware, more appreciative, more open and excited about life and travel.
Where to next?!
Rise Up, my beautiful friend