My annual 2-3 day trips away usually include walking outside and taking in the air. Sometimes it is hiking in the state parks in southern Illinois or strolling the sidewalks in a small town looking for a good cup of coffee and homemade pie.
The destinations of my trips are no more than a day's car ride away. That is partly because I feel some guilt over spending money on myself and my own time away. The less extravagant the trip, the lower the cost. But I also stay in the Midwest because it is about simplifying my time and finding parts of myself that get lost in the crush of daily schedules. I have found peaceful, simple, lovely get-away spots in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana.
Maybe it is my guilt of not my taking my family with that I do not call these vacations. It is not so much about a destination and sight-seeing. It is more about being quiet with myself: listening to myself as I slow down, meeting local people, finding time to be creative, not rushing to finish my meal and do the next thing. I breathe new air and let it fill me.
It is no surprise that a Bible verse that routinely speaks to me is "Be still and know that is am God." (Psalm 46) That is my "itinerary" for a few days next week.
To listen deeply.
To be still.
And to breathe.