Gray Day Travels

A gray day is license to do whatever you want.  There’s no pressure to see a million sites, or climb the tallest mountain, or wake up early so as not to miss a second of excitement.  While these are the reasons you may travel, a break from your self-imposed expectations to do it all can be an essential part of your trip.

It’s like drinking on a Tuesday.  If the mood for a whiskey strikes at two o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon, you’re not likely to give in.  Either you’re at work or having a double Jameson will make you uncomfortably start to question whether you’re secretly an alcoholic.  But on a Saturday night anything goes.  You can drink two bottles of tequila and laugh it away as “the weekend” or you can abstain and feel quite proud (and superior to the drunkards around you).    A gray day is a Saturday night – anything goes.  You can still choose to walk the beach or explore ancient ruins.  And if you do, you have the added bonus of thinking you’re the only one brave enough to face the rugged outdoors.   But if you decide to take the day to relax, to reflect on your travels so far and maybe even indulge in the luxury of doing nothing, well, that’s ok, too.

The money and precious few vacation days from work that you devote to travelling can create unnecessary pressure to maximize every second of your trip.  Your “time off” can suddenly become a hectic race to the next site, and you can find yourself measuring the success of your vacation by the number of stamps in your passport rather than by how much  you enjoyed it.  You may cringe when you see cloudy forecasts for your travels.  But gray days are there to slow you down; to make you enjoy rather than rush.

And gray days don’t just work their magic on tourists.  They bring out a whole new side of the place you’re in.  Even Cancun puts aside her bronzer for a few hours and Phuket wakes up a little later.  A sunny day let’s you throw yourself in to wherever you are; to bang drums with the local band and eat curry that makes you cry.  But a gray day is a chance to observe.  It’s a time out to watch what goes on from the sidelines.  Maybe it’s not as flashy as spear fishing but it’s a chance to get a taste of the bigger picture.

So in your future travels remember to pack your toothbrush and buy your postcards.  And remember to appreciate gray days.

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3 responses to “Gray Day Travels”

  1. Chris says :

    I will look at gray days in a whole new way…thanks

  2. Allison says :

    I love this one. Such a good reminder to slow down and not rush around your whole trip.

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