Saturday, April 16, 2011

Vacation Booked

So this week was quite a doozy.

Following my last post on this topic - true to my word - I became obsessed about vacation research and planning. After days of looking at various options and trying unsuccessfully to make Venice a reality, I found a 7-day trip to Spain that would have had us jumping between Madrid, Seville and Grenada. It sounded like fun, but it also sounded like a lot of work and stress. As I looked into each city I found myself feeling overwhelmed by things to do, and worrying that 1.5 days in each location could never work. Then I checked the weather for that time of year - temps anywhere from 85 to 110. Um, what? Then *that* had me stressed out.

Tuesday night I woke up at 3:45 a.m. suffering with a suspected case of food poisoning (actually, I'm not sure I was poisoned ... the food just didn't sit well with me). Wednesday night I finally fell asleep at 3 a.m. after suffering through a combination of GERD and panic/anxiety attacks. Thursday night I fell asleep around 1:45 a.m. with the same thing.

I realized Friday morning that even though on paper my job isn't stressful at all, the different environment and the differences between agency life and big company culture are actually causing me a bit of stress. I've gone from a world where everything was immediate and "we need it now" to a world where action plans take months to roll out and projects are spread out across weeks instead of hours or days. It's a completely foreign environment and yes, it's stressing me out.

So work stress and vacation planning stress was taking an emotional and physical toll on me. (And yes, I realize these are, as the meme goes #richwhitepeopleproblems, but they're my problems and it is what it is.) On Friday morning I told Alan that I didn't think I had it in me to plan and execute a big European adventure and that I wanted to do something more low key. With him also starting a new chapter in his career, he is under a lot of stress too so I think he agreed with me. Before I finished laying out my thoughts he said to me, "You want to go to Tofino." The answer? Yes, yes I do.

The thing I loved so much about Tofino the last time we were there was it was at the height of my unhappiness with my last job, and yet the second we made our way out of Victoria and into the wilds of Vancouver Island I felt that all fall away. As we strolled the beaches at sunset, beer in hand, I felt calm and peaceful. As we went to bed each night with the sound of the waves crashing to shore below our room, I was happy. When we left we both agreed that we'd love to go back someday.

Well, that someday is one year later. Like we do with Hawaii, I can see Tofino becoming a regular vacation destination. It's a bit more expensive than going to Hawaii because we can't use the timeshare, and lodgings there are not cheap, but we work hard so that we can spend money on the things that bring us pleasure in life. Vacationing is one of those things; Tofino is one of those pleasures.

Last night when I got home from work after having dealt with IT issues for the majority of the day (my computer is in the IT hospital for a potential hard drive failure), I knew what I wanted to do. Alan and I sat down together in the office and I booked direct flights from SFO to Vancouver and back. Then I called Middle Beach Lodge in Tofino in an attempt to book the same room we stayed in last time. Unfortunately it wasn't available, but the best room in the wing was - after conferring with Alan over the price (more than we had wanted to spend) I called back and booked the space. Then I confirmed a rental car with Hertz and we're good to go. I felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders and a happiness about our decision settle in.

At 10:45 last night after pizza, wine & DVRd TV I fell asleep. Waking up a couple of minutes later I said to Alan, "I'm going to bed" and walked straight into the room and crashed. I woke up once at 1:45 p.m. and was terrified that I was going to be up again all night but it was just a fluke. A few minutes later I was fast asleep until 7 a.m. this morning. Sleep, oh beautiful sleep.

It was a really good night.