In two days I will be flying to California for my nephew's baptism. I am so excited to see my family I can hardly maintain my composure. I haven't seen them for a couple of years and I miss them. This family are my in-laws: Steve's parents from Tennessee; his brother and sister-in-law and their three children.
Three days after that I will be in Hawaii. This is the honeymoon Steve and I have been planning since we were married and I'm excited to finally be doing it.We haven't had a vacation since Christmas two years ago, and we've never taken a proper break from work - even at Christmas we both worked a little bit every day.
I've never been to Hawaii, and it's been on my list of places to visit for a number of years. I have had vacations certainly- Colin and I went to Burning Man together twice, Jeff and I went once as well, in addition to a couple of road trips and various weekend beach get-aways. But my idea of a vacation is sun and beach and ocean and I am excited to finally be experiencing those things.
Beach get-aways are also pretty high on my list, so that will be happening soon; but "Hawaii" has come to represent something for me that in the past always felt so unattainable. It was never in the budget, or it wasn't a priority. I used to imagine myself swimming in the ocean with schools of brightly coloured fish like you see in the silly commercials; or walking along the beach at first light and capturing the most amazing sunrise on film (not-film, I guess, though "capturing the sunset on SD card" just doesn't have the same ring to it).
I don't even know if I would enjoy swimming with a school of fish. I tried on a snorkel mask recently while shopping and discovered some sort of phobia – my vision started going black, my lungs felt like they were on the verge of collapsing, and I got so lightheaded I nearly passed out.
So, that was weird but I've still got to try it, you know? I am well aware that the reality of every experience will often not live up to the fantasy but I still want the experience. Even if I don't love everything about something, feeling the tug of that experience way down deep in my soul is what I crave.
I am excited to have new experiences next week, and I want to have them with the sting of the ocean in my eyes and sand between my toes.