The Dutch or Europe for that matter have living away from work figured out. People around the world seem to get so caught up in the everyday grind of working that sometimes, they forget to live. With today’s technology it is truly difficult to not be connected with your work even when you are on vacation, or as Europe calls it Holiday.
The school holiday schedule is different from the States. There’s a long stretch between fall break and Christmas break. For some reason, they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. I find this truly sad as who doesn't want to give thanks by eating way too much food and watching football all day. That would be American football by the way. But in The Netherlands in the spring there seems to be holiday after holiday. So when given two weeks for spring break, we knew we wanted to actually get away from the daily grind. Laptops and cells phones clenched to our hands we took off for a glorious week in Portugal.
Several years ago, my husband and I made one of the best decisions of our lives. For years we attended the free seminars from various vacation time shares in order to get a free night stay or free prize. We usually only had to give up one hour and listen to some boring person describe how life would be so much better if we bought a time share. So after paying off our college loans and other life choices we made the plunge to purchase a time share. We were already taking time every year to travel with friends in the states so we looked at this as an investment. And this would be one we would never look back on and regret. And with moving to Europe we were ready to explore an area we never thought we would be going to… Portugal.
Not only does Europe have giving their people time off from work to rest and enjoy life, they also know part of that enjoyment is making it affordable. Getting to Portugal from the States would be a serious amount of cha ching, but flying with in the European Union is usually affordable.
We flew into Faro in southern Portugal and then took a 30 minute cab ride to our time share in Vilamoura. Taking in the beautiful scenery I couldn’t help but shut my eyes and lift my head up to soak in the sun. This American girl who has lived most of her life in Texas has missed the sun! I grew up in Michigan but somehow had blocked winters, lack of sunshine and cold and had traded them for the memories I had gathered as an adult… summer vacations and sunshine. Over the years as I talked to my friends they would describe how cold they were or depressed because they missed the sun. I’d sympathetically listen as I’d sip coffee from my patio enjoying the Texas sun. But in The Netherlands people flock outside at the slightest showing of the sun. Something I found funny at first but after this past winter… not so funny. It’s definitely true… the sun helps to lift your spirits.
We were traveling with good friends and really looking forward to a relaxing week of sun, swimming, games and much more. Here are a few of our favorite moments.
To our friends The Pulliam’s~ Thank you so much for a wonderful week we will never forget. We’ll go “Off Grid” with you anytime!