This I Know... You're (Probably) Vacationing Wrong. (By My Definition.)

"I need a vacation to relax and getaway," a friend said to me about a year ago. 

When they said it, it didn't resonate with me. And I was surprised by my thinking.

My thinking being... Why would you need a vacation to relax? You should be finding a way to regularly "relax" every day. Or at least every week. In still moments. In calm habits. Without alcohol or substances. For just a few minutes.

But a vacation? That's not something for which I hold all of "deep disconnecting relaxation" energy to do.

A vacation is about learning and connecting. Not just letting go and resting.

It started with my first non-ayahuasca plant tour, San Pedro in early 2015. I wanted to connect and learn about a different plant (the San Pedro cactus) and visit the Sacred Valley of Peru. The San Pedro (a psychedelic plant) drinking was only a piece of the overall purpose of the trip.

I also connected to the coca leaves (another plant) we chewed quite deeply. I'd had terrible altitude sickness for the first few days, and those leave tucked into my lip with a bit of the activator mineral gave me the energy I needed to do some hiking. 

But the surroundings of the Sacred Valley - the stones, trees, architecture carved into nature - taught me a few things... How to breathe deeper. The genius of ancient man to create incomprehensible things. The buzzing of the stones we touched that I could feel sending vibrations into my fingertips. 

"There's so much this space is giving to me," I kept thinking. 

After that trip, I started to see my interest in the typical vacations I had taken before starting to wane.

And before deciding on a vacation these days, I've evolved to asking myself a few questions before going some place:

  • Am I going to learn something that I don't know now about the world? Something that will change how I see things, possibly?
  • Will there be potentially be an opportunity for me to learn something new about myself?
  • Will I be able to have my required regular quiet moments to myself?
  • Have I been there before? If so, do the above three bullet points above apply?

Perhaps this is how I approach vacations these days because I am single? Maybe. But even when I am attached in a relationship, this is still how I think of vacations. And it's made it undesirable to want to travel with a significant other, who usually wants to "just get away and relax."

Yeah. But... That can't be it.

Not for me, anyway. I'll vacation by myself still, if that's the case.

"You're off on a few trips later this summer," a friend said to me last night.

Oh yeah, I said. I had momentarily forgotten about the.

A Peyote Vision Quest in August in Utah. And a new one... Ethiopia for two weeks in September.

My confirmation of my booking. I head to Addis Ababa in September. 

My confirmation of my booking. I head to Addis Ababa in September. 

I know... Ethiopia isn't the typical destination one thinks of for vacation. But just like with the San Pedro Sacred Valley, Jordan last year, and Myanmar last Fall... Ethiopia is another sacred sites tour with Blue Morpho International. 

One where I will get to study untarnished Christianity in it's earliest forms. Unsullied by the men who reshaped the stories and scriptures of Christianity to fit their agenda. 

At least, that's what I am hoping to learn about there. 

"Those tours seem so expensive," is something a number of people have said to me. 

"No, it's actually not," I say. "Not when you consider everything that one sees on them. And that we trek across a good chunk of the country, taking in as much as possible. And quite a few meals are included. And I don't have to do anything but book it and get on a plane."

Worth. Every. Penny.

In my view, anyway.

But then again, I use my precious vacation time differently. And if I didn't have the ability to save up for these trips, I would find some other way to cost-efficiently use my vacation time for learning and growth of some kind. 

Sure as fuck not to "finally relax" and just sit in a different location in the world.

Maybe that idea of vacationing will resonate with me again some day.