“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”― Terry Pratchett,
There are many reasons to travel. Once you feel the desire to ‘get away’ from ordinary life the next question is where and with whom? Where do I want to go and what am I hoping to experience?
I realized the other day that my desire to have a vacation rental space in our home stems from the deep desire I have to provide hospitality. It brings me joy, it fits the way I am made, it comes naturally. As I was telling part of my story to a friend I realized I desire to provide for others what I was searching for at important stages of my life….A PLACE to get away.
During stressful, discouraging, confusing and/or just exhausting stages of my life I dreamed of getting away by myself or with my husband or a close friend or two. I have also searched for a PLACE to have mini-retreats with co-volunteers who were setting goals for the year or desiring some bonding time. I have experienced the transforming power of time away from my ordinary life by spending a few days in the home of dear friends who allowed me a PLACE to rest, rejuvenate and reflect. There have also been times I challenged myself to be alone at another friend’s cabin for a silent retreat, to examine my life and listen to the story I have been placed into.
During these experiences I learned a lot about what kinds of spaces and provisions helped facilitate the kind of ‘get away’ I was hoping to have and that has directly influenced the choices we have made in setting up our two vacation rental spaces.
Our PLACE in Oakhurst, CA has the obvious and most often utilized comfy sleeping quarters for guests who are going to visit Yosemite National Park for two or three days of hiking and exploring. Some guests are gone most of the time and eat out at nearby restaurants. Others prefer to cook most meals in our small kitchenette and spend some downtime reading a book on the patio or taking short walks shopping in town or going over to Bass Lake. We love meeting people from all over the world and sometimes feel like we have new friends we want to stay connected with, through Facebook of course.
But we want to offer much more. We want others to experience the rejuvenation and redirection that a ‘get away’ in a well designed and furnished PLACE provides. This kind of travel gives you the opportunity to make changes that are difficult to make during your everyday life. Our hope is that your time here, in our PLACE, leads to real, tangible and significant changes in the rest of your life. We know it’s possible because we have experienced it ourselves.
Like the time we stayed in a greenhouse turned guest house in Bolinas, CA. There were vines growing in through cracks of the old structure and sections of the old dirt floor, inlaid with uneven stones. I admit it was difficult to sleep that first night, thinking about what critters might find this place very inviting for nesting but what it did provide far outweighed the challenges. It was situated on a remote section of the gorgeous and rugged California coastline. We could hear the crashing waves and smell the crisp ocean air. We had to hike through brambles to get from our parked car to the small hut but we felt like we were on a bigger adventure than we really were because the owner was just up the hill on the property and we were a short drive from any necessities. One of the best surprises was a little game the host had provided that was designed to teach Haiku. My husband and I spent time each day going through the exercises and coming up with Haiku about our experience. I was in the beginning stages of rediscovering my creative Artist self so I brought painting supplies and did some watercolor sketches. This was also around the time I was beginning to do yoga regularly and I even taught Lenny a few stretches out on the front deck with this incredible view. Not only will I never forget the experience but I returned home ready to tackle the challenges that we left behind for a short while. The other surprising thing about this experience and many like them, is that we had time to think and really discuss our dreams and desires. Those conversations led to pursuing things we never thought of in the busyness of our regular life. We changed. We became more curious and courageous. Our lives were enriched beyond a short term distraction from life’s problems.
In Part 2 of this article I will share the vision of what our PLACE has to offer. Start dreaming, think about what time away from your daily grind could mean in your life. Ask yourself, where am I stuck? what would I like to add or subtract from my routine? what new thing can I try that might become a regular part of my life?
Your story can go in a different direction, there are twists and turns available as you continue to write out the unique story you’ve been placed into. We would love to have our stories overlap. We want to be fully alive, to Live as we were meant to live. To Create a story worth living by being co-creators with God in His grand story. And to Connect with others on this crazy but amazing journey. That is why our business is called Live-Create-Connect. In the comments section below, we encourage you to write one longing, one aspect of a ‘get away’ that you hear your heart whispering to you to pursue. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow this blog to engage with the rest of the story.