Lim: Vacation

It was meant to be a leisurely vacation—in fact, by far, it was the most leisurely itinerary I had ever drafted. But my travelling constants know better. One trained before going on the trip. Whatever for, I said, it’s not like we’re going to run a marathon.

And indeed, we did not run a marathon. In fact, we did not run. At all. But we did walk, hike, trek, climb. My constants know me so well—they know I can’t help myself most times (or they would argue, all the time). I have to include something physically challenging and exciting during our vacations.

Because why not? Such is the point of going on vacation—at least, for me.

Daily life is routinary. But routine is a necessity. I like routine. It reins me in. I get things done. It allows me to be focused, productive, efficient. So, when I go on vacation, I want to do things I don’t do daily.

On vacation, I don’t sleep in. I wake up early because each day, I can’t wait to embark on a new adventure.

My travel constants trust me so much, they don’t bother to scrutinize the itinerary. So, they’re always in for an even bigger adventure because often, they board the plane, completely clueless about what awaits them in the next three weeks.

One time, I mentioned Switzerland. “What? We’re going to Switzerland?” We were going on the Bernina Express to St. Moritz from Milan. Another time, I mentioned flying out of London. “What? We’re taking a flight? It was to Cornwall to visit the Eden Project and The Lost Gardens of Heligan.

But I confess I deliberately kept mum about the hike to the top of Mt. Vesuvius. It was a steep climb, I admit, but short and completely doable. And proof of that is the fact that we all made it to the top—alive, healthy and well—well enough to embark on more adventures.

So, this time, I suppose they were somewhat prepared for the surprises I’d pull on this trip to Cyprus, Serbia, Malta, Italy and San Marino. Just a brief trek and a short climb. What they didn’t anticipate and what I swear, I didn’t plan, was to persuade them to eat only two meals daily.

I mean, if you eat a full breakfast at 7:00 in the morning and a heavy lunch at 3:00 in the afternoon, dinner seemed unnecessary as we had to do an early night for an early start every day.

I thought it was all going so well till I realized it was just me who was thrilled that I could continue my intermittent fasting which I normally never do on vacation. In hindsight, I guess I was completely tone deaf to the sentiments of gourmands.

The fast came to an end when a small mutiny erupted with mutterings of “I didn’t sign up for this…” A binge of sorts ensued thereafter—in Italy of all places—the land of pasta, pizza, meat and cheeses. Plus gelato and chocolate, too.

An absolutely horrific ending to a fabulous vacation. They all ended up in my belly.