There is nothing quite like a vacation. One chooses a city, a beach, a country, a mountain.
One studies up on whatever culture, subject or destination one has chosen and gets on the road having duly arranged for air or train fare or having decided to take the car.
There is the enjoyment of planning; the excitement of actually doing and finally the quieter pleasure in the memories and photos of any given trip.
I will never downplay vacations.
But there is better: there is – back when I was renting in the mountains – and with a very few select people - the luxury of being elsewhere.
Being at a friend’s where one follows one’s own schedule and desires (and those do take into account the host or hostess with many a pleasant hour simply chatting, cooking together etc.) knowing that one is allowed to be at home in a way that one never actually is in one’s own home.
No normal schedule: no cleaning a drawer, a cupboard, the refrigerator – so one happily enjoys doing the dishes or mopping the floor because one wants to, not because one needs to or “should”. Here it is simply “could if I feel like it”. No tasks needing done, no niggling in one’s mind that one should call so and so; visit another; plan something with a child, etc.
Here one can be egotistical – walk to the beach? Hmmm think I will; lay in bed reading half a day, no problem; eat breakfast at 10 or lunch at 11, have dinner or not it’s all delightfully possible.
I love my life at home and would probably be bored should I enjoy this state of affairs too long nevertheless I will return so mellow that it will take days to get back into a “normal” rhythm and life. Who cares? I highly suggest and hope that all my friends can experience, if not often, at least occasionally the luxury of being elsewhere.