by Molly Greene, @mollygreene
I’ve worked my rear off for years writing novels, blogging, and learning everything possible about self-publishing. And as I noted in a recent post, the all-work-no-play finally brought on burnout. Big time.
I needed to go walk on a deserted beach somewhere.
Sadly, I haven’t taken a “real” vacation since 2011, but late last fall I decided it was time to get away, and by mid-February I finally made it happen. And it took a lot of effort, starting back in November when I submitted documentation to renew my passport. Then in December I chose travel dates. I bought my ticket Christmas Day. Then came the really hard part – vetting a person or place to care for my dog while I was away.
Yikes! I almost gave up over that task.
My planning was impeded by a very small budget and a lot of mental baggage, and both those issues were disheartening. But like most processes, when you make a decision and commit to it, then put one foot in front of the other and persevere despite setbacks and disappointment, it often comes together.
And it was perfect.
My sister-in-law’s sister has lived in a little village in Baja California for twenty years. El Sarjento wasn’t on the map when she arrived, but has since become a mecca for kite boarders, who flock there for the winds and the sun and the beautiful bay in “the season,” roughly November through April. During that time, over half the population speaks English.
I’d heard about the place, knew my sister-in-law would be there for a few months, and invited myself for a visit. Gratefully, they said yes. They also asked what I wanted to do while I was there, which, I replied, was “walk on the beach, eat a lot of fresh fish, talk, and drink beer.”
I flew into La Paz – a pretty little town, the capital of Baja, and a place I’d like to return to and explore – and was picked up and whisked off to a compound an hour south and a hundred feet from the beach.
I walked on that beach every day but one, ate a lot of fresh-caught cabrilla and jurel, checked out a few local sights and one town, Todos Santos, an artsy little community over the mountains on the Pacific side where gringos are rocking organic farms and building second homes along the cliffs above the sea.
I practiced my abysmal Spanish and emptied my mind of thoughts of work, and to some extent, everything that had happened – or was happening – back at home. And I returned with a new attitude.
Is it time for you to do the same?
Have you been dragging your feet about taking a break, thinking “I can’t lose the writing time,” or “I can’t afford it,” or “who the heck is going to feed the dog,” or any of ten dozen other excuses?
If so, here’s my unsolicited advice: The attitude adjustment will be worth the cost, and you’ll return refreshed and ready to tackle your to-do list.
Here’s what I spent:
- Passport renewal: $110
- Plane ticket: $145
- Dog sitter: $180
- Frugal food, gas, and misc expenses over seven days: $100
…And I’ll find a way to weave this experience into a future novel. Okay, people, that’s my two cents. Let’s go sell some books.
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