Last week my dad and I went to Boston for a chilly, history-filled vacation. We mapped out the best restaurants and pubs, which museums and historical sites we wanted to see, the highest views of the city and the lesser-known local gems of the bustling and cobblestoned streets of Beantown. We saw Fenway and the Freedom Trail, ate famous pastries and freshly plucked oysters, rode the lines of the T and ducked into coffee shops for warmth. Day 1 and I was already exhausted, but the good kind where you could probably fall asleep with your shoes on and wake up feeling like you didn’t move.
Vacations are a strange thing. You enter into a world that is completely not your own for an abbreviated amount of time in order to experience all the great things that place has to offer. But amidst the heaps of local food and brews, towering edifices and iron statues… people live and work and walk and move past you like you don’t exist. You’re just there briefly, soaking in the cultural flair for a weekend or so and then… you’re gone. The only evidence that you were actually there is a photo or a t-shirt or chapped lips.
I always wonder about the people I see when I’m on vacation, the locals who ride the trains not for the sport of people watching but for commute. The folks who serve the heaping mounds of oysters and hold the door open for you at the museum. I am equally as fascinated by the history of Boston as I am with the Irish woman who served us Guinness at Mr. Dooley’s Pub. Vacation is information and sensory overload in the best way possible.
Vacation time is good for you, not just for getting out of the office or experiencing something new… but it’s good for your soul to see the world. I guess I like vacation for the same reason I like people: always something new to discover that makes life that much richer. I’m never going to know about the man playing the fiddle that looked like a pony-tailed Irish version of my pastor, but I will have known for just one moment in time that he exists on this earth and has purpose and a story…and I think for that, I am made all the better.