I have been on vacation this week. To you, that may not be odd. To me, it's very very weird. I tend to not go on vacation, or, not on normal vacations. I'm a bit of a homebody. I've traveled for dance events. I went to Triboriginal three years in a row (and man, I LOVE me some Asheville, NC!). I think I'm going to hit Tribal Con in 2011. My boyfriend and I used to attend regional Burning Man events on a regular basis. But in the 8 years we've been together we've never taken an extended vacation together where we not only had no plans to participate in a planned event at our destination, but also were staying in a hotel. This changed because my parents booked us a week in New Orleans, using a week of their RCI time to get us a hotel room. We just had to get ourselves back and forth and take care of our other expenses. Thank you Mom and Dad!
We're finding we're not so good at the vacation thing, though. When left with days of unplanned time, we kind of wander around. New Orleans is pretty awesome; I'd been here in my early 20s and it's nice to come back as less of a sullen goth kid, and as more of an appreciative adult. But a lot of what there is to do is eat, drink, and wander around. My boyfriend and I excel at these activities, but also have had a certain amount of, "So, ah, what do we do now?" going on.
Luckily I have had the opportunity to take workshops with Ali of n.o.madic tribal the past three summers. Because I'm a slacker I didn't get to emailing her about our trip until the week we left, but Ali generously sent me an list of things to do/see/eat. She also picked me up Monday and brought me out to her class, where her students generously welcomed me and two other travelers (one also a dancer and one curious newbie) to the class.
It was wonderful, amid the feelings of dislocation caused by travel, to have the touchstone of a dance class. It was not my usual class, but because I've studied with Ali before it was familiar. What was also familiar, and comforting, was the routine of getting to class, warming up, working on new moves and reviewing old ones, stretching out and thanking my classmates for the experience. Everyone was sweet and I got to recommend my old teacher Lisa Zahiya's classes to a student who is headed to Asheville, NC.
So thank you Ali and thank you to my temporary classmates for giving me a much needed moment of normalcy in the fun but unsettling experience that is vacationing! I wish I could have been there for the entire class series, the small taste I got definitely made me want more. Have fun at your hafla this weekend!