Montage Laguna Beach
If Fall is back-to-school time, and winter is for holidays, then spring is for gardening. and summer is for FUN! I truly live for summer vacations, and even last year, I found a way to quarantine away from home in the mountains for an extended time thanks to a friend. However, last year was the year I broke my Montage Laguna Beach streak—having stayed there every year since it opened in 2003. And I missed seeing friends from across the miles.
What I did to keep my wanderlust at bay, like so many others, I did some virtual travel on line, wrote about what travel would be like when it came back and during my meditation time, I visited some of my favorite places in my mind where I traveled years ago—from Aspen to Zion National Park and everything in between.
As I list each of those places, I have special memories and stories of hiking to secret places, incredible architecture, glamorous beach clubs, amazing dining, learning new cities, embracing history, meeting local people and barbecuing with families. So many of these trips had views into starry skies at night and bicycling adventures by day—two of my favorite vacation things to do.
For all the trips I took without social media, I can conjure up an album’s worth of images in my mind. Even more, I remember how these trips made me feel.
For all the trips I took without social media, I can conjure up an album’s worth of images in my mind. Even more, I remember how these trips made me feel—happy, alive, expansive, creative, curious and open to learning new things.
Living a busy life, I had to master the art of the vacation early on, and I have! I prep extensively to go, and when I go, I’m gone. I literally put a time on my calendar when I will return to thinking about my business and working, and until then, I am immersed in my trip. That to me is the epitome of Living Beautifully.
I use what I call a “transitional item” to make the mental switch…funny enough, it’s always a magazine! I ceremoniously open my magazine to dive into my vacation.
I love to cook and barbecue for everyone. I love exploring cuisines, and I eat everything when I travel…and then I walk everywhere (or I bicycle)—I’ve got the time.
I also love to be spontaneous. I don’t plan every minute. In fact, I dislike spa appointments, because a massage is some place I have to be on time.
It takes a lot for me to concede to even making dinner reservations, but often it’s a must as I enjoy the best places. There’s nothing worse than enjoying an end-of-the-day sunset from the pool or the beach and having to jump up to get ready for dinner only to miss the magical moment of the day. I just won’t do it anymore.
Until last year, I would write travel goals during my personal goal-setting practice for the new year. For the rest of this year, I plan to stay in the country. I’m craving nature and want to do a river trip with all the luxury amenities and an outdoor adventure trip to Montana. I’m craving fresh air and nature so much.
It makes me think of a special trip a few years ago on a yacht in Vancouver. We were on the water surrounded by islands and inlets with magnificent trees. I remember sitting on the bow with the wind in my hair, sun in the sky, making myself a promise I’d never forget the feeling of total peace and joy at the same time.
And I haven’t.
Here’s to your summer travel. May you find joy, happiness, escape and of course, beauty.
Renee M. Dee