It happens every year . . .
We work like mad, rising with the sun, bustling through the day, dropping into bed at night exhausted and stressed. And just like the movie, “Groundhog Day,” we wake up the next morning and do it all over again. Lather, rinse, repeat . . .
So why do we continue to endure this irrational routine of repetition? Aside from the obvious (bills to pay, saving for retirement, putting the kids through college), for many, it’s the anticipation of the well-deserved carrot we call a vacation—that one or two weeks a year when we leave our boring, drama-laced lives behind and relax in peaceful abandon.
I began to wonder . . . could I find a way to enjoy this blissful sensation on demand? What if every day, just for a little while, I could be in a vacation state of mind?
The idea was so compelling, I decided to make a list (yes, I’m one of those) of my most treasured memories from past vacations. But even then, would it be possible to inject a sense of escape to paradise in my daily, or even hourly, schedule? While everyone has a different dream or goal for their personal get-away, perhaps a few of these ideas will inspire you to mentally “take off” and experience a little mind-travel:
Sleep in and take the occasional afternoon nap. I know this may not seem like an option for those who have early-bird partners or bosses expecting an 8:00 AM arrival, but it’s usually possible to clock more snooze time on weekends by going to bed a little earlier at night. As for the afternoon nap, I’ve been known to close my door and sneak in a catnap on my yoga mat after a light lunch.
Wear your vacation clothes. Shopping for cute, fun, and even risqué outfits we wouldn’t wear in front of anyone we know (well, most of the time) is part of the planning excitement. Somehow, in a vacation state of mind, the scanty threads seem just right, even acceptable as we confidently strut our stuff in front of strangers. And it doesn’t have to involve an extra display of skin to be effective—did I mention eliminating the underwear? So why not bring the sexy vibe home with you? For example, next Tuesday, slip on your favorite silk lingerie under your linen skirt, or try wearing the miracle bra that plumps the girls to new heights under a light cashmere sweater. And as for shoes . . . the higher the better! Believe me, no man will ask you to take them off, and women will stare in awe as you gingerly climb two flights of stairs without missing a beat.
Get your vacation tan now. Even though we know the sun is no longer our best friend, we still try to capture that sunset glow. There’s something about a tan that evokes the idea of spending a relaxing day on the beach or cuddling up with a naughty novel by the pool. Thankfully, there are options that allow for both. Sunscreen with a high SPH factor is a must, especially if you’re exposing virgin skin. Your best healthy, sun-kissed look will come right out of a bottle. There are several great products that will give you a warm-to-deep tan within hours and a few offer a degree of SPF protection. So get your color on before going outside, and keep a protective layer of sunscreen on your skin at all times. Your beautiful tan will come right through!
Being there: Admit it—the best part of a vacation is the anticipation of strolling along the perfect white sand beach, and later, a playful midnight swim under a starlit sky. As you assemble your flirtiest wardrobe, it’s easy to fantasize about lazy afternoons by the pool, wearing your tiniest bikini while the cabana boy buzzes around you, offering every service just for the asking.
And if you’re lucky enough to be scheduling the real thing, you can squelch the stress of packing and unpacking, not to mention delays in flights and transportation, by adding a day or two to the “official” vacation with a pre-trip to let your mind and body become accustomed to the idea that it’s okay to let go, relax, and get ready to have fun. It might be nothing more than spending an extra night at a hotel or resort before you board that cruise ship or start your island-hopping adventure. And when the party’s over, allow yourself to de-stress by taking a couple extra days to ease back into your life, and use the time to relive the wonderful memories of the trip you worked so hard to enjoy.
Keep vacation time alive all year long. While it’s wonderful to look back on your vacations through photos, video, and emails with friends, there are always new locations and experiences waiting to be explored. Keep your vacation state of mind activated by signing up for online travel deals and newsletters. I subscribe to a travel magazine and keep a couple issues by my bedside. Just before closing my eyes, I’ll page through pictures of crystal-clear waters and tanned, nearly-naked bodies, planning my next journey—and hopefully setting the stage for the perfect dream.
Until next time,
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