Here in Italy, everybody goes on vacation in August. Since vacations and PTO became a reality at some point last century, people elected August as the month for vacations, and the tradition still stands.
This comes with a lot of drawbacks in my opinion, such as too many people around and consequently congestions, so much that I wonder how can people actually consider that time relaxing. But this is not the right place to complain about that, also because for the second year in a row I was forced to go on vacation in August.
My only consolation (and it’s a big one, to be honest) is that I got to choose where to go on vacation this year: without a single doubt, I chose South Tyrol. There are so many things I love about that place, and maybe one day I’ll write a little bit about that, and how a girl born and raised three miles away from the sea can love the Dolomites so much. I can’t help it: they have had their own unique pull of me since 1995. I’d be there more often, if only they weren’t so far away from my hometown (about 5 hours drive).
The good part about a trip so long, anyway, is that in a certain sense the vacation lasts more: because yes, for me the journey is part of the holiday and one I usually enjoy. There is the feeling of anticipation as I drive to reach my destination, so full of possibilities.
And then there is the trip to come back: a bit less happy, but still gives the chance to look back and savor the days that just passed by. There’s no point in re-living them when you still have things to do (hiking, biking, taking pictures, etc.), but those long hours spent driving are perfect to have the mind wander back to everything I’ve experienced during my time on vacation.
When I’m in the right mood, I don’t even get mad at congestions and stuff like that, because for me the time spent going home is still vacation time. Of course, there are better ways to spend it, but I’ve got no rush to be back for real either.
I was thinking about that the other night, just before sleep, and I think I can say that I have this attitude in many other things in life: writing, for one. I’ve promised myself that I’d had a book published by the end of 2021, no matter what. Then I began to actually work for that to happen, and there have been so many things I’ve learned in the process that I don’t think it will be a failure if I publish it a few months later.
Not only because the draft became much better: I have kept the first one as a reference, but I don’t need to open it to know I’ve been making big strides, in both the craft itself and the way I present it on the outside. All the people I’ve come in contact with, the beta readers, their precious comments about the book (yes, even the bad ones), the story they’ve written. I wouldn’t give it all up even if I got granted the perfect launch in exchange.
As usual, I’ve been spilling a lot of words (too many words) to express a single and simple concept. Maybe it’s because traveling is something that I’d never stop doing, maybe because everything can be told as a journey (am I thinking about Joseph Campbell now? ‘Course I am!).
To someone, the end of the Summer brings the Autumn vibes and they lead directly to the end of the year, but I know 2021 is not over yet: even if the end of the year is fast approaching, there’s still time for a good trip.
What do you think? Do you live for the journey, or is it just something you go through in order to get to your destination?