Today I share with you one of the last images of our week in Sicily. Not because it’s one of the best images, but because I need to hold on to this moment just for a little bit longer. This was my view yesterday morning as I sat on the balcony of our hotel room in Taormina. I sat, reading in the sun, as my family lay sleeping inside the room. During these few beautiful moments in the sun as I looked out over the Ionian Sea, I finally got it – the difference between vacation and travel. I finally got why someone would go visit a place with a beach for a whole week without moving. Just sitting in the sun and reading.
You see, we’ve spent almost the last two years Traveling. Travel, by my definition, is where you go visit someplace new with an intent to see as much as possible. Learn. Move. See more. You pack as much as possible in to your visit, because you will never get to this place again. Life is too short, there is too much to see in the world. We’ve always travelled this way, even around the US, before living in Italy.
Vacation, by my new definition, is where you sit back and relax. You experience where you are visiting by easing into it. You do see new things, but you give yourself time to enjoy the moment. Sit in the sun on the balcony, if that’s what you need. You listen to your body, come back refreshed instead of worn out.
How about you – do you travel or do you vacation?
Slowly, slowly over the last year we’ve changed our style from our earlier frenetic traveling to vacationing. Instead of moving hotels every one to two days, we stay in one place longer. Moving no more than one or two places in a week. We opt for the “view” room if we can, to give us a place we enjoy staying “in” if that’s what we need. We check in with ourselves, and if we don’t feel like visiting one more Roman ruin or Medieval town, we don’t. Sometimes you just need to sit in a piazza and eat gelato. Or sit on the balcony and read.
We had a wonderful visit to Sicily, you’ll see the photos in the coming days. We slowed down and enjoyed our moments – rainy or sunny.. Maybe this is what the whole “Slow Travel” movement is about, I’ll have to look into it now. In the meantime, I’m going to gaze at this picture and remember these last few moments in the sun for a bit longer…