As a teacher, I am afforded the opportunity of 10 full weeks of whatever I want to do! "Must be nice"...yes, as a matter of fact, it really is! I love teaching but those who know me, also know it has never been and will never be an 8-3pm job. I am often one of the first at school and more times than not, one of the last to leave. It is a labor of true love with LONG hours, endless emails, papers to grade and plan books to update. I plan for 6 different classes every day, spanning 8-grade levels and manage to juggle courseloads plus advisory positions. It is a HUGE commitment to my students and their successes and have yet to feel like I am really good at it so I keep returning, year after year to practice getting better.
So when the summer break comes, I check out. I need to. I need a serious recharge.
This was the first summer in my entire 13-year teaching career I was not working summer school or some other summer job. While summer break is an awesome opportunity to shift gears, the reality is...it is also 12 weeks of no additional paychecks so working has always been a means of survival. But this summer...events led me to a place where I did not work and I will say- BEST SUMMER BREAK EVER.
Living organically and authentically means one allows life to evolve in whatever direction it is meant to follow. In years past, I generally had a good sense as to how my summer was going to look by end of March but not this year. This summer was evolving into something better.
I had a wonderful opportunity to join a friend sailing. We were originally planning to meet in Turkey and sail down to Greece but as we got closer to the summer, plans were switched to Croatia. I used to live in northern Italy (Udine region) so I knew the area was super pretty but the last time I was there, Croatia was in the midst of a war for independence. I was not sure what I would experience but I was up for it.
I was surprised by 2 things...not only how unbelievably beautiful the landscape was but the people as well. I ended up spending 3 weeks falling in love with the people, food, culture, music, and patriotism. It was better than I could have ever imagined and I found new experiences daily that took my breath away.