Big kudos to you if you don't, but I (and seems like most of my peers) feel that way. Consider that sociologists write about the importance of doing nothing for our health, creativity, and well-being.
Usually when I go to the San Juan Islands, I tend to run around seeing as many friends as possible, kayaking, hiking, and generally packing a lot into my visit. I enjoy it all; I love seeing friends and being active outdoors. But sometimes I need to force myself to slow down.
I just spent three days on Orcas Island, and yes I saw friends and went hiking. But I also didn't make plans for much of my time there. And you know what I realized?
It's something I need to do more often.
My friends/family will tell you I'm one of the busiest people they know. So this was a departure for me. I mostly just let things happen. And of course Orcas is a wonderful place to just let it happen and watch the world around you.
The relaxation started on the ferry ride over, which was perfectly timed to coincide with the setting sun on a warm summer evening.
When I awoke the next day, I did have plans to meet a friend for morning tea. But beyond that, nothing else planned for 24 whole hours. (Next trip that will stretch.)
Afternoon time I found a quiet spot on the East Sound shoreline and stayed put for several hours, with camera, sketch pads, pencils, book, and sit pad.
|Madrona and western red cedar trees|
Next morning I drove out to Doe Bay Cafe for an excellent breakfast with local friends, who then took me on an invigorating 5-hour hike through the woods at Moran State Park.
|Buckwheat crepes stuffed with house-made ricotta and local fruit, Doe Bay Cafe|
So we got a little off track and added a mile, it was foggy at the only viewpoint, and it rained a bit. These weren't really annoyances, just part of the experience of exploring this spectacular park's many miles of trails.
An early evening soak in the hot tubs overlooking the cove at Doe Bay was a perfect way to cap the day.
|Seaside yurt, Doe Bay Resort|
Then it's a stop at an artist's studio (open house weekend) followed by the Saturday farmer's market in Eastsound, where artisan Carol Anderson recreates a favorite pair of earrings that I'd lost.
|Check out Carol's beautiful pendant, which of course she made.|
|It's about the process, not accuracy, right?:)|
Three days pass too quickly, as does most of life as we get on in years. But I leave a little more relaxed than I usually do. I pondered the life and death of loved ones this year, the future, the past, and generally tried to stay in the moment. (Tried ...)
How about you? Have you taken a break lately with nothing planned? How did that work for you?
Happy trails and thanks for visiting Pacific Northwest Seasons!
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When You Go
Here is the San Juan Islands ferry schedule from Anacortes, Washington. This time of year and on most weekends, a reservation is recommended. There are lots of places to stay in the islands, from camping to high end resorts. Here is a link to find places to stay in the islands.