a : to journey through or over
b : to follow (a course or path) as if by traveling
c: to traverse (a specified distance)
a : a respite or a time of respite from something
b : a period spent away from home or business in recreation
Styles of travel or vacation are as unique as the destinations themselves. Lazy and luxurious resort vacations go head-to-head with hostels and backpacks. I am no stranger to either. While each has its merits, our hectic travel style during the past year has taught me that there is an expansive difference between travel and vacation.
And our year was not always a vacation.
When we decided that multiple long weekends was the way to maximize our travel time while simultaneously working around a full time job, I was excited. We’d get to see many different places and have a multitude of experiences to remember and share.
I had no idea how tired I would become.
Flights from Abu Dhabi don’t always leave at the most convenient times. Combine a 2am departure with my utter and complete inability to sleep on an airplane, and you have me arriving at a destination at sunrise, feeling like a cracked out club kid. That first day is usually wasted as all I want is a nap, and a long one at that. When two or three days are all that we have to work with I feel terribly guilty, but which is worse? An indulgent nap or the aforementioned club kid deliriously trying to take in the sights and sounds of a new place? I know myself well enough to know that a nap is always the better choice.
So, more often than not, we hit the ground running. We crammed countries like Jordan, Egypt and Sri Lanka into a few days each. While I really enjoyed each of our trips, I could not keep the feelings of guilt from creeping into many of the hours spent in those places. Will and I both made certain to tell each other that we’d be back, that we’d revisit and give these places the time and attention they deserved.
But I know the truth. Return trips are not likely to happen.
The fact of the matter is that we never definitively know what part of the world we’ll call home at any given time. Sure, right now we live in Abu Dhabi, and, in all likelihood, we’ll be here for at least another year. But that isn’t set in stone. Since that is the case, we may not have the opportunity to be a mere three hour flight from Jordan ever again. Can I live with the six hours we spent at Petra, one of my dream destinations? When all is said and done, I have to be okay with that. I don’t have a choice.
Vacation and travel are two very different things. Of course the dictionary says so, but I know so. What we did during 2012 was more travel and less vacation. Would I change it? Of course not. However quickly those moments flew by, they were moments that I will treasure forever. Who am I to complain? I saw and did things that most people will never do or see. I am a very lucky and very grateful girl.
But I am also ready for a vacation.