What Do You Learn from Your Vacation?

I love to take vacations. Yes, I love my work, and I love to take vacations.

I just returned from 12 days in Israel. In the past, when I have traveled to Israel, I mostly work and have a little vacation.

I changed that this time. I only toured and relaxed. I had a blast.

You might not think that people learn on their vacations. I do. (Yes, we know I’m a little strange. I revel in my strangeness.)

Here’s what I learned this time:

  • I am more capable than I thought I was.
  • I can leave some problem-solving to other people.
  • The more I relax, the more I can do physically.

planeatisraelairforcemuseumI told my guide and driver (yes, it was all about me!) that I wanted to walk as much as possible. I find that walking helps me reinforce the neural pathways to keep my strength up and manage my dizziness. I did rent a scooter while I was on the tour. The scooter was great when I was at the Air Force Museum.

The Museum covers a ton of ground and the tour was over an hour. That’s too long for me to walk/stand with my vertigo. So, I sat.

beershevastairstocisternLater that day, we went to Tel Be’er Sheba. One of the interesting things to me was the cisterns underneath the city. This is an image of the partial flight of stairs down to the cisterns.

Note that the banisters end at this point. (They pick up inside.) Yes, the stairs are a little steep and there is room for one person at a time.

My driver carried the rollator down the stairs for me, so I could roll around inside the cistern rooms below ground, and stay safe.

Normally, I would not have tried to navigate the stairs. The stairs themselves were okay because of the narrowness of the stairs. I could reach both banisters at a time. But, not having a handhold when the banisters end? No, that’s not safe for me. The risks were too high. When the driver brought the rollator down the stairs, I was able to see the cisterns. With the rollator, I was safe.

I was quite excited! I managed to walk up the stairs with no trouble at all. (I find facing up easy. Facing down can be a challenge for me. I wrote about this in Forwards, Backwards, Who Cares?)

At the end of the day, we drove to the hotel. There was no ramp into the hotel. Okay, I can climb the stairs as long as the driver brings the rollator. He did, no problem. I checked in and discovered there was no handicapped room. No elevator and I was supposed to be on the fourth floor. Not okay.

I did not solve this problem myself. The guide and driver took charge. They found me another hotel (a wonderful hotel) and transferred me and my stuff to it.

ramoncraterThe next day, we toured the Ramon Crater. I took a jeep tour and it was a blast.

I learned a ton about the crater: how it was made and why the different colors were in different areas. I took a ton of pictures and many of them are good. (That’s new for me.)

Since it was my second day in Israel, I was quite tired. We ended the tour around 4pm and I took a nap before dinner. I slept long that night, despite my nap. I was ready for the next day.

rockypathtocopperminetimnaparkThe third day, we went to the Arava Institute and Timna Park. My guide and driver wanted me to use the scooter to roll down to the copper mine.

See that rocky path with the big rocks? Scooters with small wheels don’t navigate rocks that well. I started to tip over and said, “Okay, I’m done. Not with the scooter.” Not with the rollator either.

On the other hand, I did a combination of scooter and rollator to the shrine of Hathor, the travel goddess.

seahorseeilat reefobservationeilatWe also went to several other places, finishing at the Eilat Aquarium. What fun! The first picture has seahorses, and the other picture was the observation onto the reef.

That’s the day I learned I could walk many more steps than I had been walking at home. I made a conscious decision when I was relaxing in Eilat to see if I could walk 20-25% more steps than I had at home. I did! I’ve been back for two days now, and I am still walking at the higher number of steps.

I recommend you take your vacations. (I realize my European readers scratch their heads at that statement. Us US folks are not so good at taking vacations. I recharge on vacation. And, I learn on my vacations—not what I expect to learn, but something.

I hope you enjoyed this little travelogue. Believe me, I took many more pictures than I shared with you.

That, dear readers, is the question this week: What do you learn from your vacation?

2 thoughts on “What Do You Learn from Your Vacation?

  1. Jim Grey

    What I seem always to learn on my vacations is that no matter how much time I have, I will fill it with things to do. I really want to be able to just take real, true down time.

    My wife and I took our honeymoon in Ireland in September. I’m blogging a lot of my photos over on my blog; click my name to see more. I think the most important thing I learned is that I really can dive in without a complete plan. We had a loose itinerary, a rented car, and booked hotels/B&Bs. Outside of that, we made it all up as we went. That is not my norm. But not only did I survive it, I found it to be great fun.

    1. johanna Post author

      HI Jim, I often make a list of things I want to do on vacation. I might even have ideas about when I want to do them. I do wait for the last reasonable moment to decide. For this vacation, the tour was organized and my relaxing time was not organized.

      When we had small children, we were more defined—except when we went to Hawaii. (Mark worked for the first few days and the kids were 8 and 4.) I decided to hang out with them in the pool and on the beach, get snorkel equipment and have them try it out in the pool. Then, we wandered around while we waited for Mark to be done working. It was great fun.

      I find serendipity to be a great thing on vacation.

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