I have never believed that vacations are luxuries. They are our necessities–just like shelter, clothes, and food. They make us feel like humans and not like animals that care only for survival.
~ Alexander Babinets
As most of you probably know, Ben and I headed off for a short road trip adventure late last week. We were only gone three nights and four big days, but it was enough to do some kind of a magical reset for both of us.
It was not a fancy vacation. We stayed in the kind of just-off-the-highway traveller’s small-town brick motel that has two stories with parking out the front of the rooms, and in each ‘self-contained’ room an electric jug and a microwave, an assortment of cheap tea bags, coffee sachets, sugar sachets, cups and mugs on a little wooden tray, and a small box of long life milk in the tiny fridge. There were fresh towels each day (small and white) and tiny cheap soaps and little tubes of things that may have been shampoo or body wash or moisturiser or anything really – the writing was tiny, and they smelled kind of floral, and the contents were coloured in pastel or vivid oranges and yellows. Luckily we brought our own big bar of soap (what a luxury!) and toiletries. I also sprang for a room with a king-sized bed, which was apparently the top-of-the-line room, so it was on ground level, and there was a little writing desk and chair, a small dining table and two chairs, and an oddly placed two-seater lounge, as well as the standard motel bathroom, and only two power-points in the whole place. It was old but clean and functional.
We were walking distance down the main street of town to a recommended coffee place, and we found a few places for meals that were fab too, including a restaurant in a nearby town where the owner is a guy who used to be the chef of our favourite cafe (long since defunct) when we lived on the farm. It was enough. This wasn’t a gourmet tour – we were travelling to visit friends, and to pick up and pay for crystal orders from some of our long-standing suppliers. Mind you, regional Australia sets the bar high for good food.
Each day we would meet a supplier, usually an old guy or an elderly couple – all people I have known for decades – talk rocks, look at rocks, take notes about rocks, purchase and then pack and load rocks.
Each afternoon and for part of the evening Ben and I would return to the motel room and go through the day’s crystal acquisitions and add them to my spreadsheet – listing each stone, who we obtained it from, where the crystal was found, and any other important notes. It was a labour of love, and it was important for me to record all the extra history of each stone. When we were done we’d go grab a bite to eat.
Each night it was a novelty to lie in bed when we came back from dinner, sip hot chocolate (I brought my own!) and watch TV. I watched bad reality TV shows about cops pulling people up for drink driving or crazy people not declaring things to customs officers, and a few old but good movies (Beetlejuice, The Green Mile, The Peanuts Movie), local news and weather, and all of it felt exotic and fabulous – partly because it has been so long since we have gone anywhere new or done anything different.
The free motel wi-fi was terrible, and so was our phone service, so we had four unplugged days. I think that was part of the charm of our road trip. The real world felt a million miles away.
Best of all? Coming home to our excited dogs, and sleeping in our own bed.
I’m feeling refreshed, enthused, and ready for another road trip soon. We have to go back anyway, to get all the rocks that wouldn’t fit in my car! Now, to put all these new crystals into a grid and get them charged up and ready to share.
Love, earth magic, amazing stones and happiness, Nicole xx