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Thursday, 14 September 2000

Marital Romance: My Dream Vacation with my Partner

Written by  Chantal Danino Holt

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Have you ever fantasized about your dream vacation with your partner? Where does your imagination take you? What are the scents, sights, sounds and feelings associated with your daydream?

I posed this question to our team of freelancers and staff. Enjoy this peek into their dream vacations.

Camryn's Dream Vacation
In my dream vacation I am naked in the water. I am with my husband and we are camping on an isolated beach. There is nobody around for miles, not a soul. The water is aqua, and not too cold, not too warm.

Vacation for me is expansiveness, richness, and the "high" of feeling that the world is fuller, larger than the everyday routine.

The beach is in southern Mexico. To get there, we traveled by train. The train had open windows and the warm breeze tangled my hair. My husband peeled me oranges and we ate almonds and seeds. I massaged my husband's hands. We bought handmade blankets and homemade sandwiches and coffee from peasants who got on the train at each stop.

Now we are living on the food we bought: mangos and cheeses and dark brown bread. We drink water we brought with us, and also squeeze oranges for juice. We fish and eat what we catch for dinner, preparing it over an open flame.

Most of the day I sit in the water and watch dolphins jump from the sea. My husband sits next to me. Sometimes he reads, sometimes he gazes at the sky.

We walk and play and swim during the day and at night we talk, all about our childhood and our kids and what we want most from life.

We build a hut out of branches and wood and nap there during the hottest hours. At times I write poetry and songs, at times I read.

Then each night, we make slow burning love right there under the stars.

I am one with the earth and my lover.

Sara's Dream Vacation
I would love to tell everyone we are going away for a week, drop the kids somewhere, park around the block, and go back home. Then we would stay inside for a week, at home, and no one would call or bother us.

Alternately, I might like to live all across the country for a year...Take the kids and a Winnebago and just camp out wherever and work odd jobs for food...back to the basics, regain our sense of adventure, get back the wonder that comes from newness and unsureness.

We'd end the trip on a coast and stay for a while at whatever beach we landed on.

In a nutshell: something simple, cheap, basic, that lets us focus on what we are, rather than what we want.

T.F.Monty's Dream Vacation
We have decided to spend a little time apart for our vacation. Not that we don't love each other, we do, deeply. Just for a change. We have said nothing to each other of our plans. I go to the airport and take off for the first leg of a long haul to a luxury cabana hotel I read about on the Internet on the shore of the Indian Ocean. After nearly 12 hours of flying time, I arrive at the hotel completely drained. I check into a wonderful suite and decide that before unpacking I will take a swim in the hotel pool. It is dark but soft underwater lighting lights the pool. Candles burn on tiny wicker poolside tables. For the first time I feel a twinge, no -- more of an ache. What am I doing in this paradise when the only person with whom I want to share it is on the other side of the world? I think that a long swim will wash these thoughts away. I dive into the pool. As I surface I see that another swimmer is coming towards me. I look: it can't be, but when I feel those familiar arms lock around my neck, I know. Is this coincidence; did she peek at hidden tickets? Who cares. My dream vacation has begun.

Chantal's Dream Vacation
We are on the platform of Victoria Station in London. A long whistle followed by a strident "All aboard the Orient Express train" is the background sound of my dream vacation with my husband. We are en route for Istanbul. We are in a first class compartment, a private and luxurious hotel on wheels. Fresh flowers are on a side table, with a bottle of champagne cooling in the ice bucket, and two crystal goblets filled to the brim. We raise our glasses, and drink to life, to love and to dreams. Our itinerary includes the major European cities. Romance, culture and gourmet foods are the magic ingredients for my perfect vacation. As the train pulls out of the station, the smooth, rhythmic vibrations of the wheels are a sensuous call for each other's arms.

Ruth's Dream Vacation
We go to visit two remote tribes: one in the jungles of Venezuela and another in the mountains of Ethiopia. Neither can be reached by car so we get in two of our favorite activities: hiking and being in nature (and how!) We're an adventure, which suits me, and we're doing challenging physical activity, which my partner loves.

I've read that the Yequana Indians in Venezuela live as if they're having a party, and, unimaginably, their kids don't cry. The African tribe members hardly ever get sick and their culture doesn't have the concept of lying. They just never lie. A tribe that always laughs and a tribe that never lies. They must know something we don't.

In my fantasy, we go through an initiation to become honorary members of these tribes. We come home with the power to initiate anyone else. Slowly, the power to laugh a lot and never lie spreads to our friends, neighbors, their friends and neighbors, and on and on, until it spreads like a benevolent, computer virus throughout the world.

Rebecca's Dream Vacation
Rarely have my husband and I had a vacation alone that wasn't eventually a dream. And we've been married for forty-two years. Sounds exaggerated? What do these guys have to prove? But let me explain.

One of my few marital credos is that a couple has to get away alone. When the kids are young, it might mean just a few days at a hideaway or hotel not far away. Later, it can mean exploring new places together, traveling farther away. But the two important elements common to all great couples' vacation is FOCUS AND EXPANSIVENESS.

Usually, it starts off flat. My husband and I are very different personalities. It takes him time to get used to a new place. He retreats. I see him in all his limitation, the minimalism of his personality. And I yearn for expansiveness. Vacation for me is expansiveness, richness, and the "high" of feeling that the world is fuller, larger than the everyday routine. I admit it's the romantic heritage of people my age. Growing up with Wordsworth and Keats, on one hand, and the suggestiveness of American romantic movies of the forties and fifties, on the other. And I am irritated that he's not in the same place I am.

But slowly, like a dance out of the forties, it comes together. There are certain props that help. Beautiful scenery. A hotel or apartment that's charming, accommodated, certainly not grubby or sleazy. An interesting foreign country to discover together. (I know it's silly, but that's the way it is) And most of all, FOCUS. Talking to each other. Not letting the words slip away, as they do at home, under the pressures of work and other people. Feeling the person's presence as you read or swim, or walk around. Focusing on the other intellectually, emotionally, sexually. Re-establishing the "other" in your life. And the world expands. And you are there for each other.

Toby's Dream Vacation
My dream vacation is piling the whole family in a couple of traveling trailers and traveling the back roads of America and Europe and the rest of the world for a year. We'd stop at villages and farms and towns and cities and get to know the people who make up our world. We'd experience new climates, new physical challenges, new types of culture and incredible visions of nature. We'd make lots of new friends. We invite them to join us at nighttime, around our campfire, or they'd invite us to join them in their thatched huts or clapboard houses or palaces or caves.

Every once in a while my husband and I would slip away for a day or a night or more, and spend time alone together while the kids looked after themselves. We'd find a quiet clearing in a forest or a secluded island or the top of a mountain. We'd take a few days to lie on beaches or under the trees and talk and read and love.

We'd return to our "caravan" of kids to find them happy and full of stories.

We'd return home, energized and full of new spirit for years to come.

Last modified on Thursday, 12 January 2012 13:26
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Chantal Danino Holt

Chantal Danino Holt

Chantal Danino Holt, the mother of three children, is one of the founders and volunteer directors of SHANI, a non-profit organization against child prostitution, and is also a social worker, Reiki Master, reflexologist, and works in visualization work and psychotherapy with individuals and couples, integrating mind/body/spirit healing with conventional psychology. During the year 1999-2000 she was the coordinator of the WholeFamily Marital Center.

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