Memory Vacations

For many of us, our lives are just so busy that we can’t seem to find the time to plan a full-blown, real vacation. You know, escaping for a week or two to a tropical island or taking a cruise to explore the history and culture of other countries. For some of us, mini-vacations are all we can squeeze-in. For me, I find that memory vacations offer a short escape from a hectic schedule.

You may be thinking, what exactly is a memory vacation? Well, it’s setting aside time to reminisce about a past vacation, like when you were a kid and you’d travel with your family to the beach for the day or a week’s stay in a cabin. I can recall that exact special vacation. When I was about six or seven, my parents visited a friend who had a cabin on Lake Huron, one of Michigan’s Great Lakes. I still shudder just thinking about the freezing cold water, which I stubbornly insisted wasn’t cold in spite of my chattering teeth and blue lips. Later, in my teens, I would opt out of swimming in the brisk water and preferred sunbathing or taking mile-long walks on the beach collecting shells instead.

Other times, I’ll recall a trip to Europe where I feasted on the amazing cuisine of different countries and went sight-seeing at all the major points of interest—the London Bridge, Leaning Tower of Pisa, and one of my favorites, having lunch in the Eifel Tower. I replay the memory as though I’m watching a home video of me enjoying the countryside of Switzerland, the gondolas of Venice and the quaintness of Salzburg.

Another cherished memory vacation takes me to Greece, where I honeymooned. I recall the few days we spent on the island of Spetses after our cruise of the Greek Islands—strolling down the narrow streets, stopping to eat fresh seafood at outdoor cafes, riding motor scooters around the island and checking out the local shops for hidden treasures. A permanent smile dresses my face and a relaxed state washes over me, taking me from the stress and pressures of the present to the tranquility of those magical memories.

It’s always exciting planning a yearly vacation and enjoying the experience. But after the photos have been placed in scrapbooks, it can also be deeply rewarding reliving those personal memories, as too often we get so busy with life that we forget to reminisce on those wonderful, treasured moments we created with friends and family.

What special vacation memories do you have that are hidden away, waiting to be dusted off and enjoyed again? For just a moment, close your eyes and recall one of your past vacations and relive the memory—feel the breeze in your hair, recall the taste of the food and the sand beneath your feet. We all love getting away, but sometimes your escape can be savoring the moments of a memory vacation.