In late June I was blessed to be able to participate in a family vacation in Aptos California with 18 members of my wife Kathy’s side of the family. What made this experience extra special besides the obvious of sharing exceptional memories with others one cares for, I had not been back to the ocean for a family vacation since 2012 which I describe in Family Vacation: Creating Memories, Enjoying Companionship and Nature.
Although I had an enormous amount of work to complete (which realistically for all never ends) I am grateful I allowed myself to take this needed vacation and had faith I would be able to catch up on my work when I returned.
As soon as we arrived at our destination I immediately sensed the stress melting away from my body as I felt the sun against my skin, listened to the ocean waves and breathed in the fresh ocean air. I had no idea such a vacation would positively and immediately affect my mental and physical health (beside one mishap I will explain later). Being completely blind I utilize other senses to interpret my environmental surroundings and mood of the occasion since I can’t see facial expressions. As I listened to the excitement of the others around me my senses instantly confirmed that we were about to experience a fun-filled vacation.
Just a Few of the Enjoyable Activities I Experienced:
- Lounging and relaxing while sitting by the pool feeling the warmth of the sun on my bodyRelaxing at the beach lying on my beach towel on the comfortable sand as the gentle sea breeze cooled me slightly from the heat of the sun
- Lounging and sitting out on the patio at the condo we were staying in listening to the ocean waves, breathing in fresh air and feeling the warmth of the sun on my body
- Sharing many meals with my family members including the ones we prepared ourselves and the ones we went out to restaurants for
- Listening to my cousin play his guitar as we sang along under the stars with the ocean waves glistening from the star light as our backdrop
- Listening to the happy laughter from my family as they played fun games together
- Going on nature walks with my wife Kathy as she described the beautiful scenery to me which was filled with the ocean, bushes, trees, hills and ravines which we crossed on footbridges
- Experienced the excitement of the others as they described to me the many dolphins jumping completely out of the bright blue clear ocean water which they could see from our condo’s patio and balcony
- In the mornings and the evenings I would picture in my mind’s eye as the others described to me such as the many fawns (baby deer) with their parents close by eating right outside the windows of our patio
- Engaged in many conversations in which I seldom have the opportunity to experience the sustained quality time together
- Experienced the joy of partnering with many as we shared living quarters
- Going to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk with my wife Kathy, two of my great nieces and one friend we each drove the bumper cars, played arcade games, went on other rides, ate corn dogs, hamburgers and deep fried artichoke hearts
- Not letting a nasty fall the first day of our vacation slow me down in which I bruised and scraped up my left knee badly and slightly sprained my left ankle and foot (I found out about the sprain when I returned home and was examined by my doctor)
Observations and Reinforcements of Experiences:
- Life passes us by very quickly therefore we should make time and cherish time with loved ones instead of focusing on non-critical activities or inanimate objects
- In our very hectic and fast paced world most of us live in today we can always justify not taking time out of life to spend with loved ones because we feel we are too busy
- Taking time for rest and rejuvenation actually enhances our productivity and creativity when we return to our career or other important personal or professional commitments
- If you are fortunate enough to receive invites to be with others do not selfishly decline thinking only of yourself because possibly others might benefit from your presence
- If you happen to fall and receive injuries like I did (which I am almost completely healed), it is best to have such good fortune of having an emergency room doctor see me fall, causing them to stop their car and get out to help my wife Kathy deliver first aid to me
- Lastly, you never know what will happen in life and the opportunity you pass up to share with others may be your last chance
Does anyone have examples of vacation experiences that benefited you? Do you have any other experiences I did not list that reinforces the fact that we need to take time out of life’s busy schedule to spend it with others rather than spending our spare time focusing on non-critical activities or inanimate objects? Do you happen to have a disability like I do or have any temporary challenges that you were able to overcome in order to participate in family vacations?
I look forward to hearing your valuable comments to help us continue this important discussion.
Global Dialogue Center