Our family has always enjoyed traveling. Sometimes we will take a vacation as a family, while at other times. My husband and I will plan a getaway for just the 2 of us. When Dan was diagnosed with cancer, vacations changed. We had to work travel around his treatment schedule. But, it became more important than ever to make memories and to enjoy the other benefits of getting away for a while.
Exposure to other cultures
Whether in your home country or abroad, you will find lots of people who live differently than you do. By learning about different cultures, you think more deeply about your own traditions, beliefs, and values. This is an important exercise. You gain insight into human psychology, and often feel greater compassion for people who are different from you. (L) As we’ve learned, this can help your emotional well-being. It can help you see the world beyond what you are going through.
In the picture above we were in Wyoming in the fall of 2013. A herd of bison completely surrounded our car. We watched as hundreds passed us for over 15 minutes. It was an awesome experience to see these magnificent creatures up close. They were so powerful and peaceful. Still, more were coming when we slowly made our way out of the herd. We would have stayed longer, but we were running out of gas. That’s one of my favorite memories of all time.
Taking a vacation can also be a learning experience. Our family took a road trip to Kentucky to see where my husband lived for several years. On the way, we visited several places significant to Abraham Lincoln in Illinois and Kentucky. All of them were free and our kids learned a ton of American History. Then, on the way home, we stopped at a small, local museum in Indiana on the Kentucky/Indiana border. They had an amazing exhibit on the Underground Railroad, as well as a quilt exhibit. It was a wonderful surprise, which became one of our daughter’s favorite vacation stops.
Of course, if you want to avoid burnout, relaxing is important. A vacation is a perfect way to relax. You do need to use care when planning your vacation. It can be tempting to load up your schedule to take advantage of the wonderful tourist opportunities, but this can leave you feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation.
One of our favorite vacations as a family was to Door County. We camped in a small cabin and intentionally kept our schedule light and flexible. It rained half the time and we still loved the trip. The kids thought it was great to just lay around with no expectations. So did we.
When you are living with a chronic health problem like cancer, at times your life can become consumed by it. Taking a vacation can remind you that there are things besides clinics, hospitals, and treatment schedules. You and your family can have an opportunity to feel normal again.
Not everyone can take a vacation due to travel restrictions or financial constraints. And, not everyone wants to leave home for an extended period of time. A staycation is a good alternative. You can do things locally.
- Local Festivals and Fairs
- Conferences held in your city
- Amusement Parks
Or, just take a total day off. Turn off your phones and call a moratorium on housework. Watch a movie together or just sit around reading books and ordering takeout. Whatever your family enjoys most should be included in your day(s) off.
Once again I will be doing double duty in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. I will be sharing ways to avoid burnout, here at Facing Cancer with Grace. At Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker, I will share ways of thinking creatively, using Brainsparker’s Kickstart Course of A to Z prompts. I hope you’ll visit me at both sites.
If you could take any vacation at all, what kind would it be?
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In 2012 doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan, with stage IV lung cancer. Since then, our family has been learning what it means to face cancer. I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace. My books are available at Amazon.com:
I also blog at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker