The Art of Vacation

A vacation can be an ideal time to deepen, strengthen and bring inspiration to relationships and family. It is important to remember this when planning and taking off on your vacation.

Vacations do not have to cost a lot of money to be wonderful. Every year Barry and I have taken a summer vacation with our children and the major expense has mostly been gas and groceries. We go to out of the way camping places and keep things simple. These vacations are extremely rewarding and hold dear and special memories over the years. The important thing is not where you go and what you do, but that you go somewhere to change your environment and daily schedule, and allow quality time with each other.

There is a very funny old Tom Hanks movie called “The Burbs.” In the movie Tom Hanks is a suburbanite who is on vacation for one week from work. His wife wants to go somewhere to get away so that they can relax together and have fun. Tom Hanks’ character insists that he can easily relax at home and that he doesn’t need to go to some lake to have fun. The week consists of a wild and hilarious series of events in the neighborhood that are anything but relaxing. A change in environment helps to bring about an inner change in perception and allows us to see our lives in a new way.

Some people are so in need of a vacation and have so little time to have one, that they plan a hectic pace hoping to get in a much as possible in the short amount of time they have available. Often they are more tired after the vacation than before. So creating time and space for leisure and rest are also important.

As I look over the vacations our family has taken together the most important ingredient has been taking time to listen to one another. Busy school and homework schedules and work don’t always allow for deep conversations. So during our vacations we allowed plenty of time to listen to our children. We encouraged them to talk about their hopes and dreams and feelings. We also told them about ours. We got to know each other in a way that the school year didn’t allow. We reminisced about funny events from the previous year allowing ourselves the time to really laugh. Years later I don’t remember the scenery as much as I remember a close time of sharing around the campfire. I don’t remember a particular hike or event as much as I remember the fun that we all felt from laughing together. After the children were nestled in the tent and sound asleep, Barry and I would have deep conversations. Many of our major life decisions were made at these times. The inspirations for all of our books came out of such a simple setting.

A change of routine and environment plus taking the time to listen to one another can bring about beautiful changes in your relationships. Our hope for you is that you will take this time.

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