Some of my best work and most extraordinary inspirations occur when I fly halfway around the world. I’ve always been a homebody at heart – it is quite traumatic getting ready to leave the nest even for a few days. And don’t get me wrong – I love what I do, and my day to day work inspires creativity of a different kind, but there is something that opens my heart, mind, and eyes to new possibilities when I am away on vacation.
When I am at my B&B or at the parsonage with my husband, it is so easy to get caught up in the mundane details of everyday life that I forget to look at the bigger picture. When I fly far far away, I am jolted out of my comfort zone and forced to see the world in a different light.
New scenery, people and experiences not only intrigue me, they spur my mind to look at the world in a fresh way, and to realize that I and the pesky problems that occasionally plague me are not the life force of the universe, or even the end all to my existence.
My eyes are opened to new possibilities and different options. It’s freeing.
Sometimes, what I see, and the history behind it, makes me more thankful for what I have at home.
At other times, I see empty houses in need of renovation and abandoned storefronts waiting to be leased and think, I could do this! I could make a life here. I could start over, earn a living, make new friends, be happy here.
Not that I want to move – well, most of the time – but realizing that the world doesn’t revolve around my business, my frustrations, and my own particular agenda is like magic.
My short-term problems become inconsequential and my worries fly away and my whole perspective changes.
Sadly, for various reasons, we have no grand vacation plans for this year. I dream of returning to Scotland, France and Germany. Mark is keen to visit his son in Romania. If we do head east, I would love to see Greece, and Bohemia, where some of my ancestors hailed from.
But instead, we are grounded by circumstances and obligations, and although we periodically think we see the light at the end of the tunnel, we are not there yet.
I keep hearing the word Staycation being batted around, which seems to refer to the practice of staying at home and relaxing, perhaps doing fun things where you are, instead of going on a trip.
But for my husband and I, who live part time in a beautiful B&B, and the rest of the time at a lovely parsonage next to the church where my husband is a pastor, the concept doesn’t work very well. Since both of the places where we live are also the places where we work, I just don’t see a relaxing Staycation happening.
So – won’t you join me for a Dreamcation, perhaps to Denmark or Provence, or Alsace Lorraine?
I prefer a place where my cell phone doesn’t work and internet connections are spotty. Someplace where no texting is allowed.
Perhaps a place with so many beautiful gardens, and quaint houses, and tasty treats that I would soon totally forget what’s happening at home.
I can see it in my mind’s eye now… a villa in the south of France…
…or a half-timbered chalet in Alsace.
I promise you – the views alone will open a window to a whole new world!
Perhaps we will take in a flower market in Germany…
…or explore a village here or there or anywhere, as long as it’s somewhere I’ve never been before.
Or perhaps you’d like to join me for a taste of Swiss chocolat?
I hear the patisseries in France are beyond compare.
Dreaming is my specialty, after all. It’s what makes me a good writer. Won’t you please join me?
Sherrie Hansen is the author of 8 novels set in locales as diverse as Denmark, Scotland, the French Riviera, and Embarrass, Minnesota. Her books are available at the Blue Belle Inn B&B and Tea House, where she spends her days, all major online venues, and at http://www.SecondWindPublishing.com. All photos in this article were taken by Sherrie Hansen on her last trip to Europe in 2010.