It is summertime, so that means time to go on vacation.
Vacations as an adult aren’t the same kind they were when I was a child, having 10-12 weeks off each summer to separate school years. Adults typically take 1 week off at a time, 2 weeks only if something really special (like a trip abroad).
My current vacation is underway, about 5 days total, which feels just right. Five days to meet new people, see things outside my normal day-to-day life, and most importantly, be near water. I’m vacationing in one of my favorite places, Key West. My first time to the Florida keys was to run the 7 Mile Bridge Run, back in the mid-1990’s. One sunset celebration in Mallory Square was all I needed to be hooked.
I’ve traveled to Key West 7 times since that first trip and I’m certain this won’t be my last visit. My mother, a first-time visitor, pegged the city on the second day, remarking: “Some of the people here are a little odd.” It wasn’t a negative comment, it was an observation that most of the folks here are not your typical Florida vacationers going to Disney World. That’s exactly why I like this place — it is not only OK to be a little odd here, it probably is better if you are.
In addition to the unusual animal life, the attitude down here is very relaxed and accepting. Our tour guide of Hemingway’s house summed up the attitude well when he was describing the rules to follow as we walked through the house; “I’m going to give you some suggestions, but remember they are only suggestions. In Key West, there are no rules.”
In our day-to-day lives, at work or at school, we feel like we have to ‘follow the rules’ most of the time. Spending time in a place that frees us from that feeling is exactly what vacation time should be about.