It is hard for me to escape my work zone and get my mind set for a long vacation, because I am always working even during my vacation. Being workaholic is not always nice, and working for six days a week is often not a choice to make, especially if my schedule is always beyond the rim. I used to take short vacations that I prefer to call them as breaks rather than long vacations. Short breaks always help, because they regularly break-up my routine and allow me to visit several places.
Over last summer, my short vacation was set for four days. My only concern was to find a place close to Ontario, therefore going the West of Canada was not a choice for me. I started planning to spend the four days I got for my break in Niagara. While looking for a hotel in Niagara, the Turkish ringtone I assigned to my friend Nabil buzzed. His was heading to Kazabazua, where he owns a cottage, with his family tomorrow for three days. He knows that I was about to take a short break. Where is it Nabil? Where is this Kazpatwa? I asked. Kazabazua, man, Kazabazua, Nabil repeated. He wanted me to look it up on the map as he was in a rush, assured me that I will like it, and requested to confirm if I will go with them. Kazabazua is a village in Quebec, west of the Gatineau River. It was my first time to hear about it, but information about it quickly filled up my senses. The village has a hidden river that disappeared under surface. It also was what I need for a break; close and relaxing place.
Next morning I was waiting for my friend to pick me up. Surprisingly, Nabil came alone, his wife and kids went the night before to Kazabazua to get the cottage ready. The trip to Kazabazua took less than an hour. When we arrived the cottage there was a lady with Nabils’s wife. It was his sister-in-law who was visiting from Lebanon. Nabil apparently was trying to set me up for a date. He was urging me to know someone new in my life. She is nutritionist, Nabil said, adding that I will enjoy free sessions on how to maintain healthy diet. Nabil blinked to reaffirm my intuition. I was excited, but unprepared.
Equipped with everything people would need for a trip or camp, the cottage that Nabil owns was on the lake, apparently the remainder of Kazabazua River. In addition to the kids’ swimming pool, there were two nice canoes, table tennis, and large travel trailer that can host 6 people. By the end of the second day we were not tired of the activities, but we wanted to go somewhere else. There was no clear plan as where to go. I suggested going back to Ottawa, but Nabil’s sister-in-law wanted to visit the Thousand Islands Park.
It was a perfect idea to use the large travel trailer for. The new trip that we all decided to embark on necessitated that we split into two teams: one team had to pack, clean and the second team had to ensure that the travel trailer is ready, and to buy the stuff we will need for Thousand Islands Park. By the early morning of the third day we were heading to Thousand Islands Park. While Nabil’s family and his sister-in-law were busy with the kids, I decided to enjoy picturing the park. We were exhausted by the evening, particularly after having Barbeque for dinner, nonetheless we gathered to play cards, drink black tea, and smoke shisha.
My short break, or my short vacation, was only for four days, but I barely was able to hold my breath. We had a lot of activities; some of them were not planned, including the Thousand Islands trip; it was not a long holiday, but it would have not been more enjoyable, had I gone to Niagara alone on a longer vacation. My vacation reminded me with Will Smith’s rhetoric on life. At the beginning of his comedy movie, Hitch, Smith advised that “life is not the amount of breaths you take; it is the moments that take your breath away”. Do you think that every day in vacation counts or only those you enjoyed most?