Groundhog day…
That’s how two different people recently described to me what it’s like to wake up in paradise day after day.
Two separate vacations in two very different warm, sunny Caribbean locations.
Waking up to perfection every single day.
The weather – the same.
The surroundings – the same.
The activities – the same.
The people – the same.
Can it be true?
That the week or two weeks per year that people look forward to as they escape from their mundane day-to-day existences and lives in a wintry Canada is actually boring?
That waking up in a paradise with soft white sand and turquoise waters and warm temperatures is overrated?
I remember a day trip to a Bahamian island during a cruise a few years ago.
It was picture perfection.
I asked the girl at the check-in table if she lived there, adding how lucky she must be.
She looked at me with deadened eyes and said nothing.
I didn’t understand at the time.
But now I think I do.
Perhaps trapped is a better way to describe it.
Trapped in a groundhog day of perfection.
No change in the weather – except for hurricane season.
Then things really, really change and it becomes a matter of life or death.
No change in the scenery – the ocean is the same – the sand is still soft and white.
A breakfast Bahama mama becomes the norm, setting the tone for the day in a buzzy haze.
I have never been to a resort for a week or two.
I have always felt that a vacation is for exploring and learning and experiencing another culture.
There was a three-month “vacation” around 13 European countries many decades ago.
Freshly graduated from broadcast journalism college, a friend and I rented a little Renault and camped in our tent and stayed in youth hostels.
It was a wonderful learning experience and I am glad I did it.
To me, vacations are not about sitting around a pool for a week and getting a sunburn.
Perhaps I, too, would consider a resort setting a groundhog day of sorts.
Give me amenities! Give me something to do! Somewhere to go!
My last “vacation” was to B.C. for a week.
I had the opportunity to drive around and take garden tours and do some forest bathing.
I was fortunate to do some whale watching at the White Rock pier; to walk on the cold beach at low tide.
My feet were so sore from walking and exploring that I had to buy a new pair of sneakers at the local WalMart.
But that’s the kind of “vacation” that I like.
Perhaps doing nothing is not something that tickles my vacation fancy.
Yes, I guess the purpose of a vacation is to get away and relax and unwind from the fervor and grind of everyday routines.
But even a cruise has different daily activities and destinations.
To do absolutely nothing at a resort paradise does sound like a groundhog day.
And when we have to go away to do nothing and only to realize that we like to do something, that is a telling lesson indeed.
Perhaps if nothing else it makes us appreciate the routines and daily existences that we do have.
Return to them refreshed and grateful to have so much to do.
So many different tasks and commitments and responsibilities.
And sometimes it takes going away and having nothing to do to make us happy to come home.

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