December 6, 2013

Lessons from Lovefest: What I Learned on Vacation. ~ Stephanie Corker

My bags are unpacked and my fridge is stacked with all things not-found-in-France (ie. green vegetables!) as I nurse my lovefest hangover. 

I have a post waiting to be published on the adventure itself, because heck, I want you to know about power-tripping thru Paris and the high life of Monaco. Yet, despite the grandeur, the lessons from this vacation feel as equally big as the Eiffel Tower in my world.

You see, back in January 2013, I declared: “I will travel to five new places to race and explore by December 2013.” In June, I was seriously off track as at least three of these trips were going to be to races, which I would no longer be able to participate in with a boot on my busted paw.

However it’s now November, and I am returning from France which was new destination #6 for the year. Covering everything from Hawaiian yoga festivals to small country towns and of course Europe, I’m realizing that 2013 hasn’t really gone according “to plan” and thank goodness for that!

Throughout our adventure, I jotted down my “love list” and it feels only appropriate to share the unedited, straight from the train, nuggets about what I came to love so much on this vacation…

1. Sleep is King. Wow. I don’t think I knew what it felt like to sleep, like a rock, for at least eight hours a night. You wake up mighty refreshed.

2. Routine can be broken and it is okay! And it can be put back together again too. Routine can change and become whatever you want it to be. I like routine. (Some things don’t change: like a morning sweatfest; what does change is the correlation between the baguettes the night before and the speed at which I ran the next morning .)

3. We can get by on a whole lot less than everything we own. Our suitcases, albeit nearly overweight and stuffed to the brim, held more than enough and to think I have a closet at home…

4. I found no evidence, nor correlation between the abundance of pain au chocolat’s and the beautiful (and skinny) human beings! Food, found in mighty abundance everywhere, is prepared, enjoyed and appreciated in such a different way. Preparing it with only fresh ingredients and pure love seems to the secret.

quite literally, the essentials. another picnic!

5. Smart phones are a smart choice. We didn’t choose data roaming very often, if at all, and I missed my lil blue google map dot telling me I was going the wrong way….reminder: learn how to read a map, always.

6. Less is more. Who knew we didn’t need to see every single small town in France? Seeing four or five of them was going to be okay? In fact, it was better than okay. (Says the girl who “wants it all, always.”)

7. Be on time. Trains don’t wait nor do planes. We were part of the one min-early-club twice before we decided that arriving early and reading our books in the sun, while drinking delicious insta-coffee was a far better choice. It was as if I didn’t totally get it from Landmark. This is a principle I can adopt in the rest of my life.

8. When wine costs less than water, drink wine. Thank goodness water is cheaper in Vancouver or I am not sure I’d ever be hydrated!

9. I really like sharing, like a lot! My fiercely independent nature might have served me getting to one point in life, yet having my guy to share meals and kisses with absolutely made the trip such a dream. And holding hands is a lost art in North America. Two forks, one meal and hours over dinner. (I’m pretty sure Paris was made for lovers, just sayin’.)

10. It’s always the little things. The big things are the big things yet the little things, done often enough change the big ones. Travelling around by bike changed my relationship with traffic and freedom. I think there can be more bike rides, literally and proverbially, at home to make everyday life feel just a lil mo’like vacay!

Why rent a car when you are rent a bike!?

I set this goal in December 2012 because I wanted feel adventurous. I achieved this goal and really and truly have felt love (that is adventure too, in my book!).

And that is why I will continue to set goals, with soul.


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 Assistant Editor: Cami Krueger / Editor: Bryonie Wise

{Photo: feature: elephant archives; other photos courtesy Stephanie Corker}

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