For me, a vacation has always been synonomus with an adventure. I’d pick some exotic locale, fill up my backpack, grab a lonely planet, figure out a ridiculous itinerary which would have me sleeping on buses to save hotel costs, and seeing in 2 weeks, what many would visit in 2 months. I’d get lost, struggle with language and end up with whatever I could point at for dinner. I’d almost always come down with some kind of stomach ailment, the bonus being that those tight jeans would be a little looser on the plane ride home. I’d meet wonderful, and not so wonderful people, fend off marriage requests and cat-calls, have a few brushes with danger, and have great stories to tell. I would come home more exhausted than when I had left, and friends and family would shake their heads wondering why I traveled the way I did.

Vacation comes from the latin word vacatio, which apparently means freedom. There have been times riding on the roof of a bus skirting around himalayan peaks and valleys, or on the top of a lorry heading through Northern Kenya where I have never felt so free. The world has never seemed so beautiful, so magical, so perfect….I felt free to explore, to live, to experience. It was freedom rite with worry….but freedom all the same.

1 week at the Playacar Palace in Playa Del Carmen later, vacation and its meaning of freedom has taken on a new definition. Freedom from thinking, about anything except whether you would like a pina coloda, or a miami vice (my new favourite, a strawberry daquri mixed with a pina colalda). The boys drink Cervezas for breakfast, and it seems perfectly ok to lie on the beach and drink a daquri before you’ve brushed your teeth. Should I eat at this restaurant or that one? Have we gotten too much sun or not enough?” Its kind of like vacationing in zombie mode. Everything you need to “relax” is within 100 feet and reality is completely and utterly distorted. Its like taking a step away from the world and day to day life. A beautiful beach, swimming, volleyball, tennis courts, good food, and since its all paid for in advance, you indulge…when would I normally have 3 cappucinos, but heck why not! Dessert and an appetizer, of course!

We have had a fabulous vacation. I’ve read and written, tanned and played tennis. We’ve spent some great time with Rob’s mom, her new husband, and his fabulous kids and their significant others. Its been absolutely perfect for what we wanted, and I would do it again in a heartbeat, but, that sense of adventure, that sense of excitment, that sense of exploration, well…..I kind of miss it…