When I found out I was pregnant in September, I decided I would continue to travel until I didn’t feel up to it or my doctor wouldn’t allow it. For six months, I still took to the skies visiting 10 countries on four continents.
Then it hit me.
During a trip to Peru in February, I started to feel more uncomfortable, tired, and the 7-hour flight felt like days. I knew I reached my limit for adventure travel and long treks. But I couldn’t fathom just sitting in my apartment waiting to give birth in May.
So, I decided to vacation like a retiree.
My husband and I booked an easy weekend trip this past month to Daufuskie Island, South Carolina. While there are young families who live on the famous island, the majority of those living in the Haig Point community where we stayed were retirees. They spend their days biking or walking along the Spanish moss-covered streets, driving around in golf carts, watching the sunset over the beach, and enjoying the early bird special.
We decided to join them.
As someone who likes to pack as much as possible into a trip, often to the point of exhaustion, it was a bit weird to sleep in and take a nap in a day. But at nearly 28 weeks pregnant, it was just what I needed. While we did some activities like visiting the island’s museums and going for bike rides, we weren’t on any schedule. We could do as little or as much as we liked, just like someone enjoying their golden years.
I came home from that weekend feeling rested, less anxious, and even some aches in my body disappeared. I had been trying to pack in so much before the baby came, that I forgot how important it was just to slow down. My body needed it. My mind needed it.
Although it’s not realistic to live like grandma or grandpa every day, following their slower-paced lead once in a while is rejuvenating. Whenever possible, we should ditch the schedule and plans, and just take life down a couple of notches.
Sleep in, take that nap, stroll through your neighborhood, stop to chat with a friend, and take in the sunset. These small acts once in a while are the perfect balance to the typical craziness of life we have to manage.
So, go on, retire for a little while because there’s no reason your golden years can’t start now.