How to vacation better than me
Take it easy on yourself—and the expectations—this summer
What’s this, you say? Two newsletters in a single week? That’s right. I’m here this morning with a piece I published today in The New York Times (!) about our recent trip to Mexico—our first major holiday as a family of three since Covid hit—and how I initially found myself semi-inept when it came to unwinding. (But then nailed it in the end!)
It’s not lost on me that I’m essentially sharing “What I Did On My Summer Vacation” a couple days after the Supreme Court stripped women in the US of our fundamental right to control and care for our own bodies and futures. It feels weird.
But living with this kind of dissonance—working through it, being creative through it, loving through it, resting through it, and yes, even vacationing through it—is essential to keeping our spirits alive so we can continue to fight for rights like bodily autonomy and safe public spaces.
To keep on keeping on in a kind and loving way for our friends, families, colleagues, and neighbors amidst attacks on such rights—plus, Covid!—is both important and exhausting.
Which is all to say, if you have a vacation on the horizon, there’s a good chance you really need it. I certainly did when ours rolled around at the end of May, and I was surprised at how mightily I struggled to chill out once we arrived in Mexico.
You might be thinking “um, that’s because you brought a baby” and it’s true that I could tell you precisely how many daytime, overnight, and swim diapers I packed for said baby without including even a *single* tampon for myself.
But it wasn’t just that.
It was also that I was extremely out of practice when it came to vacationing. And that the first thing we did was get stuck in a 2.5-hour traffic jam because we decided to run to Wal-Mart like dummies. And that then on the first real day of our vacation—also my birthday—a tampon really would have come in handy. (And I didn’t buy them at Wal-Mart!) And that then for three days the waves looked like the inside of a giant killer washing machine and I was too scared to surf. I also had a real case of what I called “traveler’s tummy” in the NYT, if you know what I mean.
Are these all minor inconveniences in the grand scheme of things? Yes! Was I super-lucky to go on a vacation at all? Hell, yes. Was I completely aware of all these things and still initially unable to self-arrest? Also, yes.
Did it eventually turn around in the end? Spoiler alert: YES.
If you have a vacation coming up—or would just like to relax soon—and may be wound a smidge tightly from living in the world in 2022, may I humbly suggest some reading for your Sunday? It’s here. And if you need some books to bring on your trip (or just to bed) I sent a couple ideas earlier this week.
Sending you love, strength, and free time for reading. Happy Sunday, pals.
Take it easy on yourselves, and have a good day!
I think Marcel the Shell may get me back into a movie theater. I simply cannot wait.