One of the advantages to being a teacher is that elusive, tantalizing promise of summer vacation. A vacation filled with lots of time for free roaming head space and adventure after a brutal race to the finish of the school year. One of the disadvantages to being a teacher is that, while you’ve got the time, you don’t have the money to venture very far for very long, unless you are dedicated and skilled at living even closer to the bone during the year.
So this year, I decided to take a virtual vacation. No, I’m not wearing a headset and entering massive multi-player game networks, rather, I’m going old school and just using my imagination to take a wonderful summer vacation. 🙂
Yes, I know, of course I could enjoy my days off without engaging the imagination, but let me tell you folks, it really makes a difference! And it’s free! No cost, low risk and I think you can probably take out travelers insurance on your flight if you like! So what’s the difference between regular summer vacation and a virtual vacation?
I decided on a little imaginary town in France as my target location.
The first thing I had to do was to get my hotel. I bought a new blanket for my bed, making it a bit more “hotel-ish” and just worked on getting my house in working order. (side note I just moved house 4 months ago- the hotel idea got me motivated bc it was frankly, a somewhat traumatic move in that it was sudden, unexpected and I had fallen in love with the crumbly “Secret Garden”) So, once the hotel was in reasonable order, I was ready to plan my trip!
I decided that if I really were in France, I would rarely, if ever, have a car. Off I went to buy some new clothes for my trip- a summer selection of wardrobe that could fit in a carry-on. That was the last time I drove (barring a few short overnight trips and visits to family). I arranged for grocery delivery every 4 or so weeks for the big things and then have been riding my bike to the farmer’s market a few times a week for local, fresh vegetables and fruits. I put a nice big basket on my bike a few years ago- works perfectly for shopping!
I can’t tell you how freeing the no driving is- I really do feel like I’m on vacation! And free from the idea that I’m not doing that great thing you always think is out there- I’m limited to what’s in my town, walkable or bike rideable.
Now that I’m here :), I go to places I might not normally go, change my routine, eat and cook more in my fabulous flat- stare up at the stars at night and imagine I’m not at home- or that I am. I even bought an actual book of fiction- (that takes place in France, oc) And I’m going to dust off my good camera and start taking photographs again.
I must say, I do live in a gorgeous, fun place, so my imagination doesn’t have to work all that hard. The weather is great and the language barrier is no problem. Except when my good natured friends ask, “How’s France?” and I burst out giggling.
I love it here. 🙂
Happy Summer Vacation