Guest post by Yogasteya blogger Kathrine Conroy
I am lucky to have traveled to many different places. As a child, my parents instilled in me the importance of travel and having experiences rather than things. They never said anything of the sort, but demonstrated by example. As I reflect on my vacation experiences, I realize that many of the best experiences I have had on vacation required me to explore something I was unsure of. The first vacation my husband (then fiancé) took together was a long weekend in the Florida Keys. We went snorkeling, which was totally my idea. I suggested it and even called to book the tour. I didn’t realize I would be nervous about it until we got on the boat and, about 5 miles away from shore, we were told we could get off. I didn’t think we would be in the MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN!
The guide got in the water first, followed by my husband and then me. I finally let go of the stairs alongside the boat and start to paddle around and take my first unsure gasps through the snorkel as the guide points out some sharks nearby, obviously happy with himself for being able to show the tourists something cool. More frightened than fascinated, I put my face in the water, deciding that spotting them and being able to keep an eye on them now would be preferable to paddling around, not knowing where they are and hoping they don’t eat me. To my surprise, the pair of small sharks could not have cared less about us. They watched from a distance for less than a minute, then disappeared. In fact, we joke that it was almost as if we were inconveniencing them: “Stupid tourists. Let’s get out of here.” I imagine them saying to each other as they swam away, disgusted.
A few summers previously, my parents and I went on vacation in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was only in Georgia, the nearest state, but the mountains were a nice change of pace. (One of the highest points in Florida, Sugarloaf Mountain, is barely 300 feet above sea level and does not really qualify as a mountain). We were all out of our comfort zone when we took a family white water rafting trip. Even though I was an adult (I was 22 at the time), my parents were still worried about me. My dad in particular had trouble sleeping, wondering if he had made a mistake choosing such a risky activity and hoping everything would go smoothly. Decked out in helmets and life jackets, we got on the raft and it was an awesome experience, zipping through the water. We all agreed it was one of our best vacations, definitely in the top 3.
Our vacation to Europe is definitely the best vacation we have had. My Mom is originally from England, so we visited various friends and family and saw the sights. Among the amazing things we saw were Buckingham Palace, Stonehenge, the London Museum, Tower Bridge, and a ride on the fairly new (at the time) London Eye. The things I end up telling people about the most often, though, are not as amazing, but took me out of my comfort zone (even if only a little). I kissed the Blarney Stone which, in retrospect, should have been more frightening to me, as it is necessary to bend backward over a over an opening at the edge of a castle to do it. After I was finished, my mom remarked how nervous it made her watching me, as I was so small compared to the gaping hole. I was around the same age when we took a vacation to Daytona Beach, Florida and we went parasailing. It was an amazing view, hundreds of feet in the air above the water.
Summer means vacations, family gatherings, and outdoor activities! Summer vacation is all about change and getting out of the usual routine. Sometimes, this means getting out of our comfort zones—those moments usually make the best memories.
Kathrine turned to yoga to deal with the stress related to higher education and completed her 200 hour training during her last year of law school. She is a firm believer in the healing power of yoga, having experienced it for herself…now if only she could convince her husband! Kathrine and her amazing husband live in Orlando, Florida. Connect with Kathrine on Facebook to learn more about her yoga journey!