Years ago I decided I need to prove--to whom, I'm not sure--that I could go on a vacation that did not revolve around shopping, eating, and drinking or, alternately, working on a summer tan and through a reading list, lounging by the lake at an old friend’s cottage in Maine, known affectionately as the Palace, where the most physically active I got was swimming out to the floating dock at which point turning pages of a book was the only calorie-burning activity in which I engaged. Unless mixing gin and tonics counts. I decided it was important to show myself that I could enjoy an adventurous and physically active vacation. Rather than enjoy a few days lake side or in a favorite city, I could (Velcro) strap on some Tevas and be rugged and daring and come home with great stories and pictures to prove them.
So I went on line and planned a solo leg of an extended trip to the Pacific Northwest…which means I didn’t eschew shopping and cafes completely: days in Portland and Seattle were still in the mix! But I did go hiking in the Columbia River Gorge, and hiking up (part of) Mount Hood. I went white water rafting down the Deschutes. And I didn’t fall out of the raft. All of these little adventures I did by myself.
So while growing older has its drawbacks, like failing vision and sphincter strength, there is nothing quite like being yourself and being comfortable with that. I love doing the things that I love and not making excuses, and I enjoy not feeling like I have a single thing to prove to anyone including myself. Two weeks into my summer vacation I am happy to report that I have enjoyed the great weather and spending time (almost daily) by the pool and have read three books so far from my summer reading pile. I have no trips planned other than to restaurants.
That is, there will be no bungee jumping this summer. Or ever.