Benefits of a Nice Long Vacation

by Sydney Walker on July 6th, 2014

I have recently returned from a wonderful vacation in Costa Rica with my son Jackson.

This vacation had so many benefits!  Like so may Americans, I seem to be always working. I love my work, and agree with the saying,  “if you love what you do, you  will never work a day in your life.” But on the other hand, it was amazing to take 17 days off and go on an adventure with my wonderful son. I am very lucky. There’s so much to appreciate about Costa Rica and it’s also great to be home again.

We practiced speaking our beginning Spanish when we felt like it would be welcome, but mostly we were tourists on an adventure. We met wonderful people and saw and heard and felt the animals and plants and land and weather of the rain and cloud forests. I didn’t expect a shoulder massage from volcano heated waterfalls in La Fortuna near the Arenal Volcano. In the Monteverdi Cloud Forest Park,  hummingbirds landed on my fingers while sipping from their feeders. In Montezuma, the people at the Mariposario Montezuma Gardens B&B, were so hospitable, and the breakfasts were so good, that we had a hard time leaving. We were so comfortable! It’s there that we saw a large family of howler monkeys crossing the telephone wires as a safer way to get across the street than the old way of jumping from branch to almost too distant branch where the roads have cut into the jungle. We were there just long enough for me to read:

The Secret History of the American Empire: Economic Hit Men, Jackals & the Truth about Global Corruption

by John Perkins. This book actually fits into the story of our society and stress. While it reads like a  novel, it is true.  The book  has some positive prescriptions and an uplifting voice in spite of the terrible history he was involved in, and that makes it part of the solution.  And it was fitting to read that book while in Central America. I may have been a tourist, but at least I wasn’t being an uninformed tourist.
Our adventure continued to Manuel Antonio Park. The gentle water was warm and the jungle came right to the water at the most incredible beach near the Jungle Beach Hotel.
-More nice people and more monkeys – If it wasn’t enough to be floating in that water, two toucans flew by led by their bright yellow beaks. We saw the monkeys and sloths and reptiles and birds that we hoped to see, and a fresh waterfall spot run by a local family in Uvita, and just when we thought the sights and sounds would end, we were greeted by a flock of parakeets at the airport town on our last night. They were acting like our pigeons do, but they were green noisy parakeets instead!

So this brings me to our health. A vacation can give you some moments of just being yourself, out of routine. The last 1/2 of our trip we were winging it. There was less choice in Costa Rican grocery stores than we were used to having here, but it was ok. Some long stretches of roads were unpaved, and cars weren’t held to high emission standards to say the least. It was nice not caring so much personally, while caring in the big picture kind of way.  It felt like an invitation to be present and accepting. I’m liking that I am keeping to that now that I’m home.

The way we live here at home, could use some updating.  I was lucky as a child to have summers off. When I learned that my mom only had two weeks off a year, I couldn’t believe it! But this is very common for people in our country. Some people are working two or three jobs.  I thought it would be best to be part time with my kids and part time working while my partner did the same. Jobs don’t seem to work that way yet. We are either working too much or working too little and worried. I remember the promise of more leisure was part of the culture when I was growing up. College was affordable and we all were asked to find out how we could contribute, while expecting to be supported in doing that when we found out, and then to be put to work.  Modernization would shorten the work day and work week. We have computers, and other advances, but because we allowed the reversal of the Roosevelt era gains, we are actually working more. Or we are not working. Something is wrong with this picture. I think we can re-craft our “American Dream” to include more security and more free time. Sure, our planet needs us to use that free time in some constructive solution oriented ways sometimes, but if we get some good rest in, we can have the energy to tackle the problems we face.

With so many illnesses associated with stress, I believe we should expect and call for this again. Here’s a great talk in the Bioneers series by Dr. Gabor Mate titled  “Toxic Culture: How Materialistic Society Makes Us Ill.”  ( I saw it recently on Free Speech TV ).  First there’s an interesting interview with Gabor Mate; the talk is at about 14:00

I like that he’s also talking about speaking the truth in the interview. Part of a long journey for humanity, Gabor Mate makes it sound easy. A line from the Fred Astaire movie Broadway Melody of 1940 , says it this way:  Fred to his partner who’s struggling with his ego and drinking too much, ” You’re not even on the level with yourself.” ( I really like that line ).

I’m noticing that people seem to be waking up to their truth, becoming more honest with themselves. I don’t know how much I was helped in this by my trip, but I seem to be experiencing more clarity, and it seems to me that other people are too. That could be due to this planetary awakening we are supposed to be experiencing as well. It’s nice to think we are turning a corner.

I’ll put some pictures up soon. And come see me if you want a good restful and revitalizing healing session now and then or on a regular basis. I like to think that’s part of the solution too.







Posted in: Journal