Travel vs vacation

Nothing beats the sunsets — and happy hours — at Pacifico.

I am taking a vacation.

It is weird for me to have five glorious days off of work yet not be planning a Big Trip. I don’t have to research all of the sites or look into visa issues. Packing ahead? Nah – I’ll just throw a few things into a bag tomorrow night.

Finally, I am off on a trip that will rejuvenate me – I won’t need a vacation after the vacation. I often say that Big Travel revives and reenergizes me. Most of the time, it does. But lately, I’ve been run-down, trying to fit everything in. Work has been too hard, and I’m getting up when it’s still dark out just to catch up or work on my blog. My gym membership is a thing of the past, as is getting more than a few hours of sleep. On the weekends, I want to get all of my errands done – and then do nothing. I am just too tired and need to rest up to start all over again Monday morning.

All of this makes me feel so guilty — I’ve always been someone who likes to do things. I want that energy back!

Not just do I like to do things — I like to do new things. After I went skydiving, my dad cracked that he “almost free-fell off” his chair. My mom? Unfazed. “Eh, you like to have done everything once.”

It’s true! It’s true!

But right now, I don’t want new. I want a repeat visit. Tomorrow I am grabbing my passport and heading to a teensy tiny town where nothing (yet everything) will be new. Fifteen months ago I moved back to Las Vegas from Coco, Costa Rica.

It’s time I paid a visit.

By this time tomorrow, this will be my view of Monkey’s Head Rock from the back of my friend’s boat.

I miss the friends I made there so much. I can’t believe I get to see their smiling faces so soon!

For one week, I won’t have to be anywhere or do anything.

No decisions to make at work, no activities to drum up energy for, only questions like, “Where should we watch the sunset? What should we bring on the boat? Do you feel like having a beer?”

No big sightseeing, no tours, no new countries or town.

I’m hitting the pause button.

And no one can stop me.

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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  1. Awww, didn’t realize you were going back to Coco–figured you were going on some fabulous resort getaway =) Even better that you get to go back to your old home and see your old friends! I’ll be in CR for the first time in three weeks, only on the Pacific side. Have fun!

  2. I can’t believe we’re missing each other!! I’m also on the Pacific side… two weeks earlier!

  3. Have a fantastic time, Abby. Don’t worry… we’ll hold down the interwebs while you’re away.

  4. I completely understand what you’re talking about – 9 times out of 10 I choose new and challenging and racing around, but that tenth time it’s so nice to just chill out and relax. Have a fabulous trip!

  5. This sounds heavenly–I wish I was going with you! Let us know if you catch sight of Mario 🙂

  6. Haha I had better not see Mario!

    Thank you, everybody! I’m sooo excited!!

  7. Love it! So excited for you Abbs! Have a great time back “home”

  8. I am so so glad you are doing this. I’ve been thinking about this kind of thing a lot lately…. it’s been way too long for me too. So I thank you for the reminder.

  9. Kathryn Schipper says:

    Well put! It’s easy to get caught up in the planning, sightseeing and note-taking. Sometimes you have to put all that aside and just “be.” Have a wonderful, refreshing time!

  10. It’s great that you get to go back! Enjoy doing nothing for a few days!

  11. Go, go, go — I need a break!

  12. OK … so … for the next two weeks, I’m going to need you to drink lots of wine, spend lots of time at the beach … and NOT CHECK EMAIL. Enjoy your holiday, babe!! See you when you get back to town. Have a wonderful, fantastic, relaxing time away from here. You deserve it. xx

  13. Yay! Have fun and enjoy! I don’t want to see any emails from you while you’re gone (even if I email you).

  14. Diana and JoAnna, I can’t IMAGINE not checking email all week! I think I would die!!

  15. I can’t believe you’re tossing out a challenge to the universe with a line like “And no one can stop me”. Brave girl.
    Have a good time. Enjoy your down time.

  16. Ya! I hope your time there is both relaxing and wonderful (reconnecting with the friends you have there).

  17. Awesome!

  18. Reconnecting with old friends makes everything wonderful!

    Steve, brave? Me? Ha!

  19. Good for you, pause buton sounds wonderful 🙂

  20. I think I began following your blog shortly after I moved to Vegas. It is nice to see you going back, finding your peaceful place.
    I often get wrapped up in the idea that I need to go somewhere new when I have vacation time. It’s nice to go back to a place you’ve been though, knowing what to expect and how happy you will be there.
    Wishing you five beautiful days of sun, good times and great food.

  21. Awwww, I know you need this. It is so well deserved. You have been working your ass off. Go down there and have a good, relaxing time with friends!

  22. Have fun! You deserve it! I can’t wait to hear how the “just” vacation goes… I’ve been chasing that dream all year =) Bon voyage!

  23. Thank you, everyone!! At the airport. I can already feel the stress melting away!

  24. We always talk about needing a vacation from traveling. 😉 Have fun on your vaca!

  25. have a fantastic time!! here’s to a week filled with NOTHING…and everything…

  26. Enjoy your well deserved vacation, and may this week give you this inspiration to take time off more often 😛

  27. What a concept. Didn’t know travel writers/bloggers were even permitted to take a vacation!

  28. Is it weird that I am jealous? I think I need a vacation from traveling where I do absolutely nothing.

  29. ENJOY IT!! You deserve every moment.

  30. Happy chillaxing…is that even a word???

  31. God, few days of just laying in the sun and enjoying idleness. That’s just what I need 🙂
    Enjoy your break for as long as you can and come back with a fresh pack of energy!

  32. YES! So glad you are just relaxing. As a fellow work a holic, I have a really hard time with this too but sometimes you need to stop doing new, awesome, adventurous things and just RELAX. I hope you have an amazing time and do not check your computer at all!

  33. I really like the message of this post – taking a pause sometimes even from the things you love is important. I hope you have a great time!

  34. I hope there are mojitos involved in this trip as well… 🙂

  35. Wonderful. Enjoy pressing pause…

  36. I love COCO!

    Have some ceviche from that blue side of the road place that rocks my face off. <3

  37. I love that I know exactly where you’re talking about!! It makes me soo happy that you loved Coco, too!!

  38. You are beginning to sound like me a few months ago. Dang – you need a vaca, pronto! And I’m looking forward to see what adventures you have doing absolutely “nothing” in Coco.

  39. Haha you are too savvy — between Costa Rica and my personality, we are having much, much adventure while doing “nothing”!!

  40. Its great to have a break from traveling!

  41. Sometimes a real vacation is so badly needed! I agree, it really can be different from travel where you want to go see museums, do day trips, etc. Sometimes I feel a little guilty for doing nothing, but then I have to remind myself it’s worth it. Have a ball!

  42. Can I come? haha… I 100% understand what you’re saying. I’m usually pretty good about giving myself down time. But doing it somewhere warm would be amazing right now!

  43. Have an amazing time on this much needed vacation!! xox

  44. I hope you had a great time! 🙂

  45. This sounds perfect! 2011 was so, so, so busy. I look forward to hitting the pause button soon, too. And, I can’t wait to read how your trip back was. xoxo

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