Separation from the usual, a change of venue, different mountains on the horizon… vacations help us have perspective, even if it means not sleeping under our usual roof. As an educator, I’m blessed with enough time off (less than the apocryphal three months in summer and two weeks every so often, but more than my friends have in the private sector) that I can get in the car and move around a bit.
Last year my family took a trip to Palm Springs, a quest to show my kids snow for the first time in their lives. We knew that the Aerial Tramway could take us from a sunny day at the pool up 8500 feet to a world with snowballs in the air.
The magic of that ride from the desert floor to the delicious chill of San Jacinto Peak parallels the importance of making a point to get away from what we do every day, no matter how much we like it, and throw a few metaphorical snowballs before returning to the important work with students.
For those of us involved in the business of teaching and learning, summer brings the best opportunity to separate, recharge, and return renewed. This doesn’t mean that we stop thinking about work, not completely anyway, but as we lose ourselves in a new adventure that doesn’t have anything directly to do with school, we give ourselves the gift of a more balanced life.
It’s a gift we bring back to our classrooms in the fall.
This year I’m off to British Columbia with my wife and kids. I don’t know exactly what the trip will bring. We’ve planned hikes, day trips, and experiences for both kids and adults. …and I’m looking forward to the surprises we’ll find along the way.
Last summer’s road trip to the Bay Area sparked a series of posts: “Notes from the Road” and I’m optimistic I might jot a couple of Canadian flavored posts when we get back. Until then, I’ll take a breather from blogging, grab a couple of good paperback mysteries, load up the suitcase, and head to the airport.
For any educators reading this, I hope your summer vacation is going great. I wish you rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation …and snowballs.
For anyone curious about last summer’s travelogue…