More Than a World Away

Recently I spent some time on a far-flung tropical isle trying to recharge my internal solar batteries. The residual effect of this lasted about as long as it took to fly home…and for the Frau , whom I’m sure caught some gawd-awful, phlegmy virus aboard the flight, the rosy glow didn’t even last that long. I have a theory that you get, at best, about an hour’s benefit once the plane touches down for every day that you were away. So if you’re gone a week…you get a seven hour bonus to your psyche. But that’s it. We seem to have gone from gazing at orchids and bird of paradise blooms to the horticultural Armageddon¬†inflicted by -10 degree temperatures in our backyard garden, within the blink of an eye.

This may seem self-evident but vacations can only be lived in the moment. Photos taken during your trip can do precious else but provide a scenic desktop on your computer once you return to reality. I stare into those vistas and actually try to will myself back to the beach but it’s a real strain on the powers of recollection.

Do these vacation spots even exist outside your visit? How do I know there even is a Maui…if I’m not sitting there sucking on a Mai Tai? Are the tiki torches still lit? Do the waves still crash on shore? Does the heady scent of coconut sunscreen still ripple across a phalanx of flabby humanity?

If a wave breaks and there's no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?

In some respects, it’s almost better to anticipate a vacation than actually experience it. Once you’re there the clock is truly ticking. I have a good friend who is painfully aware of the passage of time. She knows exactly when she hits the halfway point in the sojourn…and then she, inevitably, starts counting down the days that are left. Taking such things as computers on your vacation only increases your awareness of the arc. How can you possibly enjoy the disconnect while constantly connected? I took a laptop on this vacation for the first time in my life and the getaway simply felt different. It robbed me of the ‘ other place in time ‘ that a vacation is supposed to represent. It stole some of the sweetness.

Alas, my friends, the world has changed. There is too much separation anxiety for many people to ever really leave their problems behind…even for a couple of weeks. Technology should really be a distant memory once your toes are in the sand.


3 Responses to “More Than a World Away”

  1. Dave, I’m listening to Hawaiian music as we speak.
    Put on a CD and pretend you’re still there.

  2. Won’t work.

    I feel the same way. Can’t wait to get away, enjoy a few days and can’t wait to get back to my own bed.

    Looking back at pictures, it’s like looking at my friends’ holiday snaps – a total disconnect.

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