Today I had a conversation with someone who told me “you go on so many vacations.” I just smiled and said something lame about loving to travel, all the while thinking, I don’t vacation.
Sure I travel a lot, but I don’t vacation. To me, a vacation means relaxation. A resort by the beach. A cruise. I have never come home from a trip feeling relaxed. Often, the opposite is true. I’m so exhausted by the time I get home that I spend the first few days recuperating.
Traveling means throwing yourself into the unknown. Exploring. Learning.
It means waking up before the sunset to watch the monks walk their morning procession.
It means wandering the city streets with no intended destination.
Eating street food.
Haggling with stall owners in the bazaar.
Meditating in temples.
Dancing with students at their high school graduation.
Wasting the day away at a cafe.
Making friends new friends.
Learning to drink the national drink.
Whizzing through the streets of Saigon on the back of a motorbike.
So, yes, I travel a lot.
But I’ll leave the vacationing to when I come home from my travels and need a couple days to relax.