It’s been months since I have had time off from my daily routine. As grateful as I am to have one, and as valuable as it is to establish structure in your life, routine can become a trap. When you do the same thing day after day, week after week, month after month, you don’t have to think about it any more. Your brain goes on autopilot. The light of creativity fogs over.
Since I have been in my current job for many years, I have accumulated the maximum of vacation days, a coveted treasure of time. My husband is not overly fond of traveling but does not mind if I take off now and then. He takes care of home and hearth, gifting me with worry-free time to indulge my birding habits or visits with family.
I prefer quiet, nature-oriented vacations. A Perfect Day for me would be to wake up in my little log cabin in the woods, sip my coffee next to the lake while watching the loons, and then wander on some local roads or woodland trails with my binoculars, camera, nature guides and notebook to lose myself in what I love. Learn the name of a new wildflower (including relearning the names of the ones I have forgotten, which seems to be happening more and more these days). Perch on top of a rock for hours and watch a flock of Common Mergansers pick their way along the shore, search out ways of looking at the world through a camera lens, and most of all, surrender to the words in my head that flood the page writing about what is right in front of me.
I feel kind of dried up now and need to go back to the well. One of my favorite places used to be a tucked-in resort in the Adirondacks, a mere four hours drive from home. I spent the days roaming the woods and roadsides by myself, and in the evening enjoy a glass of wine or two with other guests for a community social hour and dinner. Unfortunately, the place has changed hands and the qualities that made it so special have disappeared. I am looking for a new “personal retreat home” to recover, rediscover, reclaim and realign myself with the natural world, the Grand Physician of my heart and soul.
Do you know of a place that provides a simple, quiet lifestyle in a natural setting, yet is not too isolated or expensive? Making my own meals would be fine too (and possibly make it more affordable). Searching sites on-line are fine but pictures can be deceiving, as can other important features like meal quality, or do they allow noisy machines or music, or like one place I checked out; you have to share the bathroom with occupants of three other rooms.