Make the most of your vacation

By Elisa Tremblay | Special to The Compass | July 25, 2018

Vacations are on my mind right now. We just returned from a beautiful family vacation by car. It was an ideal time to escape our hectic everyday life, experience something new and reconnect with each other and our visitors. We laughed a lot, shared memorable experiences, and spent quality time together. More than ever, I am convinced that families and couples need time to get away. The long-lasting memories of these journeys make family vacations a wise investment of time and money.

While vacationing, I came across a beautiful Christian marriage blog called #staymarried by Michelle Peterson. In her blog, “Your Marriage Needs a Vacation,” Michelle cites four reasons why vacations are great for couples. They are: making memories, relaxing, re-discovering each other, and what I am going to call detaching. Let’s explore each of these!

Memories: While I have said this before, it’s important to say it again — memories last longer than things. On a limited Christmas budget one year, my husband and I asked our kids what they received for Christmas the year before. They strained to remember. When we asked them what we did for Christmas the previous year, we spent the next 15 minutes reminiscing and laughing.

That year, we used the majority of our limited budget on a short family trip to the Dells. We continue this tradition today because it is what our kids talk about the most when preparing for the next Christmas.

Relaxation: Here is a quote from Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia: “In many cases, parents come home exhausted, not wanting to talk, and many families no longer even share a common meal.” He described “severe stress” on families “who often seem more caught up with securing their future than with enjoying the present.” This is the case in so many marriages and families.

The stresses of work, school and activities are constantly pressing upon our schedules. Purposely stepping away can do your marriage a tremendous amount of good.

Rediscover each other: When we see each other in the same light, in the same way, every day, we are limited in how we view each other and our relationship. Vacations help couples see each other differently, even if only for a few days. You can discover new things about your spouse by simply being in a new environment. You may discover new foods they like or how they handle different situations.

Detachment: The author of the article, “Your Marriage Needs a Vacation,” actually titled this point: “You need to know the rest of the world can go on without you.” We all need to hear and experience this. Pope Francis’ previous quote is spot-on: we can easily get caught up with planning for the future at the expense of everything around us. Too often, we are tempted to pay more attention to our work than to our loved ones. It is a known phenomenon that those facing death rarely wish they had spent more time at work. More often, it is the case that people long for extra time with loved ones. It is vital to recognize that emails and phone calls can be answered when returning from vacation. Your spouse will appreciate quality time spent together, which can be a fantastic boost to your relationship.

While on vacation, take time as a couple to re-focus your spiritual lives together. Use the quiet and freedom from distractions to give your spiritual relationship a boost. Pope Francis said last August:

“In this period, students are free from scholastic duties and many families are taking their vacation; it’s important that in the time of rest and detachment from daily concerns, they can re-energize the forces of body and spirit, deepening their spiritual path.” St. Christopher, patron saint of travelers, whose feast day is July 25, pray for us!

Tremblay is coordinator of the diocesan Office of Marriage, Family Life and Pro-Life.

Related Posts

Scroll to Top