Saturday, June 28, 2014

When Vacation Teaches You to Release Control

I loved the Pacific Northwest wind in my face. The salty air filling my lungs. The memory of last night’s amazing sizzling salmon still savory on my pallet. 

Tranquility whooshed by in rhythmic waves of cerulean surf rushing past the ferryboat bow. Every care and worry carried away in the current.  We were on vacation! 

But I was anxious. 

My mind raced with questions: Where would we stay? What would we eat? What would we see? How much would it cost?

Since we stayed local for our honeymoon two years prior, this was our first big trip as husband and wife. And of course, I wanted it to be perfect. So as soon as Chris booked our flight from LA to Seattle, I got to work planning our ten-day stay in British Columbia.   

I spent countless hours scouring the Internet to find the most idyllic bed and breakfast on Victoria Island and hours more researching the best off-season deals for Whistler ski resorts. I mapped out prime hiking trails and Googled must-see attractions. Then passed my thorough findings to my husband so he could make reservations according to my carefully crafted program.

But my wonderful husband wasn’t interested in my perfect plan.    

He was skeptical of whether these B&Bs were actually quaint or just uncomfortably quirky and he didn’t want to be tied down by reservations if we got bored with a place or liked it so much we wanted to stay longer.

“We’ll just find a hotel when we get there,” he stated confidently. “It’ll be fun to figure it out as we go.”

Being the accommodating newlywed wife that I was, I forced a smile and offered weakly, “Okay, whatever sounds good to you. I’ll just go with the flow.”

But me saying “I’ll go with the flow” is like Monica Geller saying, “I’m breezy.

And as Joey so astutely pointed out, “You can’t say you’re breezy, that totally negates the breezy!

I wanted to be flexible. Easygoing.

But I had to fight my inner rigidity and reign in my desire for control.

As I squashed my need to know exactly what to expect, I began to find a small (yet appealing) freedom in letting go. Yes, going with the flow.

Did we find a place to sleep? Yes, we did. Did we enjoy good food and festive sights while making memories? Yes.

Was every moment flawless and carefree? Nope.

But perhaps that was part of the gift God was giving me through deferring to my husband’s laid-back style. 

Whether painstakingly self-planned or fully God-surrendered, life on this earth will never be my version of perfect. Yet the journey is most enjoyed, most meaningful, when I’m following God’s lead instead of plowing forward alone.

Being in control of this trip could not have made the real sweetness any sweeter.

The lush beauty of Butchart Gardens would not have been more picturesque had I known the exact time we’d arrive.

The setting sun splaying glory across the rippled sea would not have been more magical had I booked the ferry in advance. 

The mountain air would not have been crisper or the forest greener had I pinned the trail on a foldout map. 

And time with my husband would not have bonded us greater had I pressed my will to vacation my way instead of submitting to his.      

Sure I could have done without that awkward night in Vancouver sleeping in a stranger’s dank basement on a springy sofa bed and sharing a bathroom with two startled foreign exchange students.
But even so, it was hands down the best vacation ever.     

*     *     *  

Joining The High Calling to share our Best Vacation Stories.


Loralee said...

Glad you had the best vacation ever!

I like how you use photos and bold print to bring out important parts of your stories.

BARBIE said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip!

Jennifer @ said...

Oh Becky.... I loved this. LOVED it! Thanks for continuing to offer such great words to our linkups at The High Calling!

Ann Kroeker said...

I think your little toss-in at the end of sleeping on the mattress in a stranger's house, sharing the bathroom with surprised foreign exchange students? I'd love to read that story in more rich detail using your gift of description!

Two different traveling styles; neither is right or wrong, but I do think people benefit from having a more flexible attitude so that when things don't go as planned, they can still enjoy themselves. Hopefully you and your husband can find a happy middle ground, though you should win a prize or something. That's a LOT of flexibility and open-mindedness.