Travel While You are Young Enough to Enjoy it

I have been back from Costa Rica for less than two weeks now. It seems like three months! Although I met some remarkable women and we worked through our Second Journey issues the hot temperatures (100 degrees to be exact) of the Equator took its toll along with a vegetarian diet literally devoid of protein. Add to that an arduous flight to Miami and then Costa Rica and then a 4 hour van ride to our destination I began to have my doubts as to whether this particular adventure was worth it. Have I grown too old for such travels or have I lost my sense of adventure altogether? Whatever, it has taken some time to recover.

I keep thinking of a friend who hated to fly. She would travel from the east coast to her parent’s home on the west coast every summer by train. She insisted that by the time she arrived she was on west coast time, and what’s more, she had left one life behind with transition time in between to get ready for another. Another friend recently crossed the ocean on the Queen Mary, Cunard’s pride and joy, and found the same pleasure—leaving all that life entails at home to take 6 days to become accustomed to a new time and place.

I think modern day’s race against time has done terrible damage to our very nervous systems. We all seem to be going too fast for anyone’s good. Perhaps my recovery is slow because my body is telling me to enter normal on my own terms.

I shall make time for tea each afternoon, meander along the beach instead of my usual power walk, and clear my calendar of unnecessary appointments. The blank space is allowing me to breathe.

17 thoughts on “Travel While You are Young Enough to Enjoy it

  1. I don’t know if it’s an age thing. 🙂 I have always wanted more relaxing vacations with as little flying as possible. I remember going to Cancun in 1993 and we did a lot of “excursions” and some were 2-3 hours one way in a bus! I wish I had just walked on the beach by myself and let the others go. I am very much thinking of visiting Iona. I feel drawn to it.

  2. Joan, Sometimes the teacher needs to be the student. When I have come to the Cape or to Iona for your retreats, I needed to put away my teacher’s hat and fast paced life and just listen, be the learner, and breathe-oh yes, this took some doing. When you are filled with responsibilities and decisions constantly, sometimes you are given the gift of slow recovery as a GIFT. A most elegant gift tied with a beautiful bow. Take that gift and open it slowly and savor the contents even more so. It is okay to do so, yes? Ah, a self made retreat in the making…the teacher needs to rest and repair. A new “renew-ness” will happen. I always took the month of June to recover from the school year. Slept in late, dawdled, read. I didn’t care. That GIFT of slow recovery was mine and mine alone. And it was great and better yet, it was OK. Love you Joan and a belated Happy Birthday to you!! Nancy

    • Nancy last winter I needed to pause and be filled up…and so I took a Chakra meditation course as well as a Celtic course. Just had to show up and not contribute…I could receive. That is the best part of a retreat. How’s the poetry going?

      • Hi Joan, The poetry is going very well! I have my own small and I mean-small one woman small-publishing press called Mountain Tapestry Press, LLC. My first book Journey On: Beauty and Grit Along the Way will be published this coming summer along with a companion writing journal. Book signing is scheduled in my hometown of Cold Spring, NY in July. You did a one day retreat there at Chalet on the Hudson.

        I love it when we have the opportunity to just “show up and not contribute.” We need those times, Joan more than ever. Thank you so much for asking about my writing; smiles and hugs to you! Nancy

  3. The older I get (61), the more tired I am when we travel. My body can’t take that hard schdule of always moving to be on time,when I’m just starting to relax then it is time to be off again to make a connection.
    I had told my husband that I wanted to travel by train, like your friend, and his comment was that it takes to long.
    We are retired……….so what is the hurry?!
    Enjoy your tea and quiet space.

    • the slower I go the more I see. My daughter-in-law is a biker…she says there is not much you miss going 3 mph. Slow down you move too fast…you’ve got to make the moment last….

  4. When I opened your blog this morning, I gasped. I had just been thinking about an upcoming trip that I want to take but my husband is hesitant about taking. So many times, my 87 year old mother has given me the exact same advice as the title of your blog post. My Mom has regrets that she did not travel more and reminds me often that there will come a time when travel is not as easy or that one just simply is physically unable to do so. I do wonder if when we travel and return, we expect to continue the same hectic pace that we assume every day of our lives without any time for recovery and reflection. As usual, Joan, you are spot on in giving me that needed advice to take care of myself. Thank you and wishing you delicious breathing space.

    • a friend encouraged me to go to Peru and hike the Inca Trail when I had doubts. She said: “Go. What you can do now you might not be able to do later. I am 6 years older than you and the Inca Trail is now out of my grasp. So bon voyage to whatever place is teasing you to visit.

  5. I AM SO GLAD THAT YOU TRAVELED TO COSTA RICA!!! Blessed to have shared the experience with you Cathy and all the WONDERFUL unfinished women who attended!!!!! Namaste

  6. Hi, Joan,
    First of all, wishing you a wonderful birthday and a great year ahead! I, too, have had a slow ‘recovery’ physically from the Costa Rican trip. However, in addition to the temperature, travel issues (decided to carry my bag with me rather than checking it – big mistake coming home when I had to carry it down the steps at the boarding gate and up the steps of the airplane!) location of my cabin (all the way down at sea level) and the lack of sufficient protein, I attributed my energy level to the emotional toll of the trip – great outcome – but there was definitely work involved. I guess this falls under the “no pain no gain theory ; )
    I just finished A Walk on the Beach – marvelous!
    Thank you so much for such wonderful experiences in our workshop. Your planning and hard work really paid off in a top quality program. A program which I really feel was a life-altering experience for me.
    Warm regards,
    Fran Rhoades

    • Fran thanks so much for your affirmation and thanks for all the materials you so kindly sent my way…it was a fabulous group and a hard working group at that. Glad you were part of the energy mix as you have had such an amazing life experience.

  7. i, for one, am so glad you made the trip — and it was arduous — and took its toll, for certain….also i, for one, have delighted in having some grilled chicken (tasted like lobster after two weeks of vegan!) and in reading your books and in remembering many special moments in costa rica….thanks for all, xo, molly

  8. Dear Joan, You have such a terrific way of expressing everything I think and feel.
    Traveling to Costa Rica took it’s toll on me physically and I was pooped when I came home. Re-grouping is taking some time, especially since “others” have their needs and my walk on the beach is all but forgotten by them. I do, however, hold
    all I received from the adventure in my soul, just for me to treasure.
    Important words for today….HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you dear Joan.
    You are an amazing “unfinished woman”. May you be blessed this year with many walks on the beach and quiet times sipping tea. I love you dearly, Donna
    xoxoxooxoxoxoxoxox la la la ….

    • We need to re-enter quietly and privately. The best re-entry I ever had was when we had rented pour house and the people were still in it and my husband and I were forced to go to a great hotel for two nights…we were back home but no one, including the email and phone messages, knew it and we weren’t tempted to connect.

      Hi to Sarah

  9. Now Joan, there was tofu and lentils available for your protein intake ; ).

    I, too, think air travel does not serve us well. It is remarkable that we can get where we can get so quickly but that doesn’t mean we are supposed to.

    We can look at the small ways in which we can affect time as well. While it seems daunting to make a trip to the west coast a 5 day affair there and again back (and where do we find that extra 5 days) we can make lesser choices. I often take the 8 hour train to NYC from Plattsburgh instead of trying to make a 5 hour drive into a 4 hour drive. I arrive rested, relaxed and ready to enjoy what the city has to offer instead of frazzled, nervous and full of negative energy from commenting on all the bad drivers in my path.

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