As many of you know, I was recently in Canada on vacation. I took about twelve days off, ten of which I spent on Lake Huron in the Georgian Bay. It was funny because while I was there I realized that this was the longest vacation I had ever taken since graduating from school. I feel like that’s pretty crazy given I have been working now for almost four years and within that time frame I had never taken longer than a week off. As I’m sure you can assume, it was much needed.
This was my second time going here (I went last summer for about four days) and I can honestly say it is one of my favorite vacations. Personally, I think everyone should take this type of vacation at least once a year, and here is why.
First, there is no TV, internet, and cell service is spotty. Now, some of you may think “Holy crap. I can’t do that. What would I do without my phone?!?” But that is the exact reason why something like this is imperative to do. Day in and day out, we are so attached to our cell phones and keeping up with everyone else. When you take that away, I think you really find a) just how dependent you have become b) what you really want. It provides so much clarity because you aren’t digesting what everyone else is doing, wearing, eating, etc. For once (in a long time) you make decisions solely based on what YOU WANT. This is imperative and I think making this connection allows you to discover a little more about yourself that you may have not realized, or better yet, that you may have lost along the way.
Second, your decision making is simple. You are literally stuck on an island so your options include some sort of water activity, a nap, fishing, or to lay out in the sun with a good book. Other than that, you don’t need to worry about much else. In my situation, my meals are already decided for me, so I don’t even get to choose what to eat, which is a total blessing! Day in and day out, the amount of decisions I have to make is ridiculous. There are multiple times when I tell John to just decide because I am worn out from using thus muscle. I make so many decisions all week, that not having to make decisions on what to do, where to go, what needs my attention first, is so nice. I feel that by taking away the ability to make decisions we so desperately crave, I am able to use my mind for so many other things, like getting clarity on what I want in life, on who I have become as a person, goals, etc. My mind isn’t being inundated by all of the to-do list and priorities and that is a very freeing feeling.
Thirdly, I am pushed wayyyy out of my comfort zone. I think this is majorly affected by the people I go to Canada with (the second oldest sister and her family), but it is also just the environment I am in. There are bugs and spiders (which I hate), when we fish I have to worm my line (don’t even ask), my niece and nephew make me catch frogs which scares me, they made me crawl through pitch black caves which I could have sworn a spider crawled across my stomach, I had to jump into water where I did’t know what was below, and I jump off cliffs that are much higher than I would prefer. Yet, despite my fear, doing so many things outside of my comfort zone allows me to realize just how strong I am. Each time I conquer a little fear, I am reassured of my strength, confidence, and ability to persevere. These may all seem like little things to you. Things that would be no big deal, but to me they push the boundaries and I think that is important. Don’t settle into mundane and comfortability. Do things you don’t want to do. Do things you wouldn’t have thought to do. And do things that are out of your comfort zone. I learn more about myself in these moments, than I do all year, and that is something I am beyond thankful for.
There are so many more life reminders I experience in Canada, but these three – disconnecting, simple thinking, and pushing boundaries are by far the most life changing for me. I encourage you take a trip like this taking whatever time you can sacrifice – a week, four days, or even just one day, where you do these three things.
Life is a constant wheelhouse. Take a moment. Discover yourself. Find where your fears lie. Do things you wouldn’t normally do and strip your mind of all worries, to-dos, and decision making. I can promise you that by doing these three things you will learn more about yourself than you could ever imagine. Think of it as an opportunity to get very clear on who you are, what you want, and where you want to go. I promise you won’t regret it.