Vacation!

I am currently on tour to mark the release of A CURIOUS BEGINNING. Regular blogging will resume in October, but please drop by the blog every Tuesday and Thursday in September for posts from the archive. In the meantime, hope to see you on tour!

This piece originally ran in 2009.

Recently I ran across a quote: “I live like I’m always on vacation.” Now, the woman quoted was being profiled in a fashion magazine so the piece turned to how she dresses, but I admit I am far more interested in how she lives. I started pondering how I would live if I were always on vacation, and the picture is a seductive one.

1. I wouldn’t sweat the small stuff. In my day-to-day life, the details are what bog me down. On vacations, I move airily through the slowdowns, the breakdowns, the little annoyances because I am on vacation, and to loose my poise would threaten the entire trip, a trip for which I have spent lots of money and raised lots of hope. Mindful of the cost to both my wallet and my peace of mind, I let the little things go and put on a happy face when I have to deal with glitches.

2. I would be nicer. Because I’m on vacation, I’m conscious of being less stressed, and in turn, I’m nicer to everybody, including myself. I release my perfectionism and go with the flow more.

3. I would read more for pleasure. I never take work on a vacation with me, aside from the tiny flash drive that contains my last four novels. And that’s just a safety precaution; I never actually get it near a computer because I stay far, far away from computers when I’m on vacation and I never travel with a laptop. So vacations are my one opportunity to fill my bags with a combination of books I have loved and books I expect to love. (Somehow the Kindle hasn’t changed this at all. Because I had the Kindle battery die on me quite unexpectedly once, I always take a stack of books, usually cozy English mysteries.)

4. I would take more chances. When I travel, I often adopt a more devil-may-care attitude about things. I try new foods, I ignore the voice that natters on in the back of my mind trying to keep me safe and sedate. (You know the voice. She sounds like a prim little spinster and harps at you about eating your vegetables and getting your eight and a half hours of sleep every night.)

5. I would take more pictures. Well, alright, I don’t actually take pictures on vacation, but my husband does, and therefore vacations are documented. Everyday life should be documented too, slices of reality preserved in aspic. I have gotten better about this since I bought an iphone, but I could improve.

6. I would check my email, Twitter, and Facebook accounts less. On vacation I am completely focused on my family. I do not check my various social media accounts, nor do I attend to email. My family is my priority and my pleasure during vacations.