Testing Hello? Is this on? πŸ˜‰ So good to be back to blogging after a lovely holiday.

Yeah, you know it’s been almost a month since I blogged here. But, checking my past posts, I realised I’ve been blogging about once a month for the last 6 months on this blog, so yay for consistency! πŸ˜€

Anyway, I had this whole big ‘plan’ about what should be my first post after a really long vacation and while I have that kind of sorted for my other blog, this one is more of a set of musings on what I loved during the break.

It has been a long time since I took a long break. And I mean a LOOOOONG time. The last long vacation I took (anything more than 3 weeks qualifies as one), was in 2010 when I visited the US for 3 months. This year’s trip (again to the US) was my second one to that country and lasted about 7 weeks.

But, man! The experience was so very very different. So let me dive in.

Not much of a plan

You may know that I am a ‘plan things down to the last minute’ kinda gal. However, I threw everything out the window with this trip (save the actual booking of the tickets and the packing of the suitcases/weighing them, of course). I had no plans.

My whole aim (or lack of aim) was to let myself go where the days took me. And it all worked out beautifully.Β  I actually let other people plan my days and what do you know, it worked great!

 

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From a hop on-hop off Bus tour at NYC to a visit to Hershey’s Chocolate factory in Pennsylvania; from the museums and memorials at Washington DC to the Science Museum of St Louis, I am pretty amazed at how much we covered. My Google photo albums are bursting at the seams with pictures and smiles.

Being with family and friends

But the really beautiful part of the trip? It was the amount of time I got to spend with family. If you’ve grown up in India in the 80s and 90s, you’d recall the time we used to visit cousins over the summer and just spend all day lolling about, doing nothing but watch TV, play games and fool around.

Gy got such a wonderful dose of that and was royally spoilt by all the love everywhere and for once, I am not complaining. Years later, these are the memories she will remember with fondness and joy. (Not sharing pictures with the family, because, well, this is a public blog).

Let’s not forget about the chance to visit two dear blogging friends who opened their homes to us without a second thought. There’s got to be a word for that but I find myself unable to articulate it at this moment. To be welcomed into someone’s home and to be treated like close family is priceless and I was touched and overwhelmed to have that on my trip.

Laksh and Shantala, you know what I mean, right? πŸ™‚

Β Taking the time to read again

I know how this sounds and I don’t mean to come off as sanctimonious or anything, but I really took the time to read books again the way they ought to be read. Not to tick off a number on a challenge or to specifically read books that other people are reading, but to just lose myself in reading for its own sake.

That was one thing I absolutely adored about my trip: access to the free public libraries. Although I only visited about 3 of these libraries on my trip I was amazed by how much it reminded me of a time before social media and being online. Let’s not forget the Barnes and Noble stores either. Those were equally delightful.

Not having any regular chores to do meant that I could pick up a book, guilt-free, and read endlessly on a given day. That meant more than any well-planned, down-to-the-minute vacation I have ever taken.

Taking time off from work and social media

I can’t remember the last time I just switched off my laptop or didn’t check in to social media during a vacation. Of course, even on this trip I did share pictures off and on via Facebook but that need to constantly update my whereabouts (which to be honest I used to do a lot of, a few years ago), just vanished.

Instead I took the time to observe people around me.

I watched families bonding over meals. I watched kids laughing uncontrollably over a secret joke. I revelled in the warmth of freshly laundered sheets, just taken out of the dryer. I kicked back and watched movies that made no sense but that made me laugh uncontrollably.

For reference please watch ‘The Flying Jatt’. Nothing will make sense ever again and you will lose 2 hours of your life that you will never get back. Plus it’s physically painful to watch Tiger Shroff trying to make his face move when it cannot. But still, worth a laugh or two. πŸ˜‰

All told, this may be the most memorable trip for a number of reasons and I am truly, deeply grateful to my husband, my job and my family in the US for making it possible.

Here’s looking forward to more such trips and more time with the people who matter.

15 thoughts on “Holidays and Musings

  1. Oh yay! Oh yay! Good to have you back, though I did enjoy your Insta pictures. It’s wonderful that you could meet up with Shantala and Lakshmi. It reinforces my belief in online friendships and that they can turn into such real bonds.
    Also, you saw Flying Jatt??? Oh I cannot stop laughing. Storing and keeping this bit of info to rag you over it all your life.
    Obsessivemom recently penned this post Behind Closed Doors #BookReviewMy Profile

  2. Wow an amazing vacation indeed, for you actually got quality time for yourself with family and friends. Its also lovely that you did manage to meet blogger friends, for it gives a wonderful meaning to relationships we built online.

    Taking time of Social media does wonders,. It often helps me to de-clutter my mind, and I come back with energy and a sea of creativity. :))

  3. Yayyyyyy you are back! I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss you πŸ™‚

    Loved living your holiday through you Insta updates. It was so nice to see so much of Gy as well. You guys had a ball I could tell.

    Thangam is a stunner too, BTW πŸ™‚

    Let’s plan a meet sometime soon, it’s been a while.
    Soumya recently penned this post Life Is BeautifulMy Profile

  4. I will be honest. I missed you and the fact that you were not in Bangalore :/

    You know what? I followed you through your updates and pictures. I loved them all. Sometimes I was a lurker but all the time, I was happy for you and Gy. So good that you got a break and a good one at that. I wouldn’t mind 7 weeks of such a blissful time with family in another country. πŸ™‚
    Good to know you are back and all geared up for life. Love and hugs. We need to meet soon!
    Parul Thakur recently penned this post Gratitude List – May 2019My Profile

  5. Reading this makes me happy, Shailaja. We should be able to take breaks and vacations without feeling guilty. It will only help us in the long run and in the short run too actually. Honestly, I didn’t think that you would be able to completely tear yourself away from social media what with the work you do. But you did and I applaud you for that. πŸ˜€
    Nice to see you back. ❀️
    Vinitha recently penned this post Of another school-year and memories that stroll my wayMy Profile

  6. SO so happy for you, Shy! We all need such vacations where we do nothing but laze around and don’t follow a routine. Getting used to a day without a routine can be difficult, but once you get used to that, it can recharge you completely…like a phone battery charged to 100%! πŸ˜› Such a bad joke, na? πŸ˜€
    Welcome back, dear!

  7. Yes, I can imagine how relaxing this vacation must have been. And you met Shantala too… That’s so cool. 😁 I haven’t been to a library in ages. Reading about your experience makes me feel like visiting one.
    Rajlakshmi recently penned this post The Little ThingsMy Profile

  8. I am so very happy for you, Shailaja that you could take that time off. It would never be possible for me to ‘not’ work for 7 weeks! I mean work deadlines only allow me maximum of a week off. And then I come back to piles of work but no complaints because I do love my work. And yes it is important to disconnect from social media when away. I do that too but sometimes I share pictures only because once in a while you enjoy doing that as well. One thing I’ve realised of late is that social media is fun too. Sometimes I do want to share things or connect with online friends and then I don’t mind logging in even when on vacation. But an overall disciplined approach to how much we browse, when to cut off, when to reconnect is a balance each one of us arrives at based on what works for us.

    Loved all your updates during the holidays. πŸ™‚
    Rachna Parmar recently penned this post Spaghetti Aglio e Olio RecipeMy Profile

  9. I have been on constant touch with you on your holidays and would look forward to your updates. I also miss the days before social media and the internet but then I am thankful to them also as they have given me my virtual visibility through writing.

    1. Agree about the value of social media. I was referring to taking time off from it during vacation, which I never used to do earlier. πŸ™‚ Thanks for following along with me on my holiday. Means a lot.

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