One of my favorite vacations was sitting by a wood stove in New Hampshire—alone. I had a glorious view of the mountains, a book, and hot chocolate. My travel companions spent the days hiking, and I spent the days alone reading, writing and cooking soup. Most would not list this in their top ten vacations, but this trip had come at a particularly hectic time in my life. I needed time alone to recharge. And an authentic old-school log cabin with a wood stove for heat was perfect respite for me.
Sometimes I take care of others better than I take care of myself. I would have been tempted to hike the days, bending to the will of the group. But pain in my hip prevented me from privileging the desires of the group over my own desires and as a result, my hip pain helped create one of my loveliest vacations ever: time alone to read and write and stare out the window.