Back From Vacation

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I got home from my vacation at 1:30 this morning, after a 13-hour trip. I could have stayed another week; maybe next year I’ll be able to stay longer.

We had an interesting mix of people at the cabin this year: my oldest daughter and her ten-year-old son, my youngest daughter and her boyfriend, and me. This is the fifth vacation I’ve taken in the last three years without my husband. It’s not that I don’t want him along, but something (like work or finances) always gets in the way. I’ve almost become used to being on vacation without him.

But not quite. The next trip I have planned is to Chicago and this time I know that my husband is going because it’s partly a business trip. I’m really looking forward to it. It will be fun to be there with my best friend.

Aww, I know, that’s schmaltzy. But it’s still true. The one thing I don’t like about traveling without my husband is that I don’t have him there to talk things over with. On the spot, not hours later when we get a chance to talk on the phone. As much as I love my kids (with whom I’ve been doing all the traveling), they don’t “get” me the way my husband does. He would have understood when I didn’t want to go canoeing or swimming this past week. He would have sat on the porch with me and enjoyed the sound of the waves on the shore and the wind through the trees. I had a good time but I still felt alone, not because I was, but because the one person I share everything with wasn’t there with me.

But there’s also a sense of accomplishment when you go on vacation without your husband, or any man. Knowing that you can plan the trip, do the driving, meet the deadlines, and handle emergencies is like a shot in the arm for your ego. I used to be afraid to do things by myself, but now that I know I can, I feel stronger and freer than I would if I depended on a man to do everything for me.

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Ellen Keim

Ellen is a freelance writer, essayist and copy editor, living with three cats and a husband in Columbus, OH.

One thought on “Back From Vacation”

  1. I usually do all the planning, driving, map-reading, etc.. for our trips so I can’t totally relate but I know what you are getting at. It’s definitely freeing to know you can travel alone and do it successfully. But it’s also nice to have your traveling companion with you, too. It’s good to get an even mix of the two, I think.

    Welcome back!

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