Adrift in the Outer Banks

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“Travel takes more than money. It takes the most precious commodity: time. Anyone can buy a car, hand-bag, or shoes, but travel requires energy, bravery, curiosity, and a degree of adventurousness.”

So says hotelier André Balazs.

Outer Banks

Outer Banks: The village of Ocracoke

As I set out for my vacation to the Outer Banks (OBX), I read this knowing my next post would focus on my coastal adventures into God’s land. Now, I had a provocative sentiment to ruminate upon…

At this time in my life, André’s reflection is particularly poignant due to recent changes in our workplace. These changes are requiring even more time in the day and more expendable mental energy. Arriving at my vacation destination in Avon, I found myself pulled between being “plugged in” and choosing to NOT be plugged in. Simply put, I was feeling adrift in the OBX.

The commodity of time. Admittedly, it took me four days into the seven-day excursion to commit to the release of time. *Sigh 1.* (Thus why Balazs says time is a commodity). Why did it take that long to own the beauty and peace and let myself go? We need to learn how to be intentional to reset minutes of connectivity to minutes of distinct disconnectivity.  In some ways, I think we need to give ourselves permission to let go and embrace the moments of restoration. Really? Sigh 2.* When you do, here’s what a seized moment looks like:

Outer Banks

Outer Banks: The restorative beauty of a sound sunset in Avon

Energy. I also admit it took mental energy to allow this restoration to occur. I believe the essence of vacations can be distilled to letting go in order to go with the flow. Normally, I’m a pretty “fluid” traveler, yet on this vacation, I was feeling adrift.  My reminder came in the form of my lab; he reminded me of the beauty when you seize the moment:

Outer Banks

Outer Banks: Bo in God’s swimming pool

Outer Banks

Bo equally loves being a sandman

Bravery. See time as commodity.

Curiosity. I fed my curiosity through food. I explored every seafood source I could from the neighborhood monger to the restaurant where the locals were eating. Among the favorites? Steamed local clams and oysters served with seaweed salad, curiously (read surprise!) atop a mound of kosher salt:

Outer Banks

Outer Banks: Steamed oysters and clams in Ocracoke

Adventure. I had an epiphany after living in NC for twelve years. Time to explore the OBX. I began in 2011 with a Solamente exploration with Bo to Ocracoke. For this year’s backyard adventure, I went to Avon and was blessed to have my parents join me for the first half of the week:

Outer Banks

Outer Banks: The ‘rents rock it in Ocracoke

Friends joined me for the latter part of the week, where we took in the glory and awesomeness of:

Outer Banks

Outer Banks: The infamous Hatteras Lighthouse

So remember this one cool thing. [Tweet “Time is a valuable commodity. #SeizeTheMoment”]

View my OBX photo album at Cool Deb on Flickr.

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DeAnn Leonard · at

Debbie…you posted this at a great time for me…I struggle daily with trying to find balance….you are reminding us that the simple things in life can be the most important and bring about the most wonderful memories. Time is what we have to share and provide…. we just get to choose who we spend it with….lately my choices could use some adjustments! Thanks for reminding me about simple things in life.

    Cool Deb · at

    thanks for sharing your thoughts DeAnn. I think I am learning you have to be intentional about slowing down, taking it in and allowing that to restore you. It doesn’t just come, unfortunately, in today’s world of constant connectivity. Hope you enjoy some simple joys this weekend.

Aparna · at

Enjoy the journey. I keep reminding myself that all the time, Debbie! In every day routine, choose what is more important at that point of time. But on a vacation, it means soaking up what is around me and take images that I can revisit whenever I want. Good fun!

cooldeb · at

Aparna. thank you for your post. You would think we could do this on vacation, right? : ) I like your thinking – soaking it up so you can recall upon again at will!

Kathleen Donohue · at

Well thought out Debbie. I find purposeful intention is a curious and sometimes elusive thing. A number exercise comes to mind. count 10: 4 : things I am grateful for 3: things that went well 2: things I did right and 1: thing I’ll do better tomorrow.

Theresa Hunter · at

Sometimes I wonder what we did before we were “plugged in”! Today we are too available and it is about setting boundaries, especially on vacay. It’s hard but you have to turn it off (or at least to vibrate) sometimes.

Shani · at

This was a great blog post, especially the part about the commodity of time. I couldn’t have expressed it as well as you did. That was the phrase I had been looking for all year! Thanks for that! Thank you for blessing and sharing your time, words, and wisdom! Much love!

Heather Peters · at

I read your thoughts…&, as always, they are awesome!

Mary Michaux · at

Deb, this blog was awesome! Reminded me so much of how I felt on that trip and I loved the title! Was such a well-written article and you should be very proud!!

cooldeb · at

Theresa – it IS about setting boundaries so we can actually be out of bounds with some fervor! Shani – as I mentioned on Facebook, I have to credit Andre Balazs for the terminology of ‘commodity of time.’ I think even off of vacation, we must see time in this manner for our everyday lives. Thank you for your words. Mary and Heather – thanks for the cooldeb love! Mwuah!

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