Today JD and I are off into the great unknown of Indonesia. I’ve packed my bathing suit, sunscreen and obnoxiously bright dresses. But this time I’m leaving something behind: expectations.
No, not completely. I expect things will be great. I expect places we see will be beautiful. I expect to swim and maybe even get an albino version of a tan. However the planning of this trip has been out of my hands. This trip comes courtesy of other people’s wedding. We are joining JD’s brother and sister-in-law on their honeymoon. Crashing it, really. They’ve done the grunt work of looking up websites and comparing hotel rooms. Now, we get to sponge off their labor like two lazy beach bums.
I love it! I love not knowing every detail, not quite remembering what time our flights get in or exactly where on the map we’re headed. I love not caring where we eat or even which temples we see. I love that I have no checklist in my head and no itinerary to read. I love how simple, basic and vague my expectations are.
I think this is what a holiday should be.
Having visitors come to stay with you can bring mixed emotions. Hopefully the visitors in question are people you actually want to see. Even so, it means playing host and changing around your own schedule to fit their holiday. It means finally washing some sheets and buying extra toilet paper. If you live overseas, it means preparing to help your friends and family adjust to your local oddities. At the end of their trip, you’re guaranteed to be a little lest rested than normal. So what makes having visitors so great?
The right house guests bring with them a whole new outlook on your home. They make you see things the way you saw them when you first arrived. Visitors force you to re-take those day trips you took when you first moved, and experience all the fun of the touristy things in your area. It’s also a chance to make new memories with old friends. A drawback of living overseas is that trips back home at Christmas are spent “catching up”. Having those same friends come to visit you means moving beyond the catch up and into time together spent laughing about what’s happening right now, rather than what happened when you were kids.