A lot of people have been asking us whether we’re over vacation mode yet. Until just the other day, I didn’t know the answer. I guess so, because this doesn’t feel super relaxed and vacation-y? I guess not, because it still feels the same as when we started? I don’t know. Turns out the answer was hard to find because it was a loaded question: We hadn’t even entered vacation mode yet. At least, I hadn’t.
I took a sabbatical from the law firm, but Rich and I had started a side business doing bookkeeping for law firms, and building websites. We ramped up the work a bit before we left, thinking that we would need the income to fund our cruising. But, we discovered that continuing to work defeated the purpose of cruising.
Instead of slaves to the office, we’d become slaves to the internet. Our days in port were spent focused not on laundry and provisioning as they should have been, but getting as much work done as we could before the internet disappeared again. Rather than exploring the ports we were in, the girls spent entire days on their iPads, just so we could get a few things done. When we left, the internet would disappear, and we could start relaxing once again. But, it would only last for a week or so before we were back in port. Between ports, we took time out of our days to plan what would need to be done in the next port before we could leave.
As a result, we never got into vacation mode. I must admit, I was the worst offender, far more so than Rich. But, even my working made more work for him, because it meant more cooking, cleaning, and childcare while I was buried in perceived productivity. It wasn’t until Rocky Pass Bay that I realized: I had to quit.
It took some time to get everything wound up once we’d decided to shut things down. I had to help my bookkeeping clients close out their months and transition to new bookkeepers, which couldn’t all happen in a day. That meant we couldn’t finish the process in one port, so several more of our port days were spent working.
Things still aren’t completely shut down, but as of yesterday, we’re finally in a place where we can spend our days in port focusing on port errands, not work. We can go to the grocery store without rushing and missing items; we can do laundry and read a book while we wait, instead of constantly running between the laundromat and the nearest Internet cafe. We can enjoy a dinner out together, rather than a dinner out that the girls try to enjoy, but Mama is too much of a grump to make it enjoyable.
So, we’re not over vacation mode yet, because vacation mode has just begun. I’m not sure how long it might last, and I don’t know if we’ll even recognize when it’s over. But for now, we’re relaxing and enjoying our time as a family together. That’s what makes the best vacation, so maybe vacation mode just won’t end.