Guest Post: Do you need a vacation? by Deanna Kahler
Pack your bags. It’s time for a little trip. You won’t need any money. In fact, where you’re going, you won’t even need clothes. If you’re worried I’m sending you to a nudist camp, you can relax. The vacation I speak of is a little escape you can take just by picking up a good book.
If you’ve ever been so engrossed in a story that you no longer realized what time it was or what was happening around you, then you know exactly what I mean. Great books have the wonderful ability to put you right there with the characters. You can see what they see, feel what they feel. Reading is more than just words on paper; it’s an experience.
To help illustrate just how similar reading a book is to taking a vacation, I’ve put together this list. Here is a look at what reading (and vacations) can offer you:
• You can visit places you’ve never before seen. From the pyramids of Egypt to the Great Wall of China, the possibilities of where you can travel are limitless. My latest book, Sara’s Soul, takes readers to mid-Michigan where they can experience nature, a camping trip and a walk on the campus of Central Michigan University. There’s even a glimpse of medieval Europe, no time machine required. In its predecessor, Echoes of Paradise, readers embark on an incredible journey to Heaven and back, complete with gorgeous scenery. I love the power a book has to create a scene that you can picture in your mind as if you were actually there. Traveling doesn’t get any easier than this!
• You can lose yourself in the power of the present moment. Let’s face it. We all lead busy lives, and it can be extremely difficult to appreciate the here and now. I often find myself thinking about all the tasks I need to accomplish tomorrow or what happened yesterday at work. When you become absorbed in a book, all those things float away like clouds. The only place you find yourself is right inside the book, enjoying the story. Time seems to stand still, and there is no where else you want or need to be.
• You’ll feel more relaxed. Have you ever noticed that not long after picking up a good book, your worries and stresses of the day seem to melt away? Much like a vacation, reading allows you to temporarily forget about what is going on in your life. And, it can help you sleep better. I often read right before bed because the activity quiets my mind and makes me drowsy.
• A good book can improve your mood. And finally, there’s the whole reason why you want to take a vacation to begin with: to feel better. So many of us long to escape—whether to a quieter environment, a warmer climate or just someplace that takes us away from the daily grind of life. These trips make us feel happier, lighter, freer and ready to take on the world. They recharge our tired bodies and soothe our weary souls. No one can argue that just one breathe of the fresh ocean air can rejuvenate you. Similarly, getting lost in a story can bring feelings of pleasure and contentment.
The good news is that you don’t have to travel far to reap the benefits of a nice vacation. Next time you’re feeling stressed or just want to get away, grab a book and let the escape begin. You’ll be glad you did. Happy travels!