Counting down to summer break, a young boy could not wait to tell me that he and his family were going to have a “YES Day.” Excitement took over his whole body – his eyes widened, his body wiggled and danced as he scrambled to find the words to describe what this new family tradition would look like. YES Day was a day he could have pizza and ice cream for breakfast, go to a theme park for the day and watch a movie way past his bed time (while eating a second helping of pizza and ice cream). It was a day of breaking routine and endless fun.
His excitement was contagious and got me thinking, “What would I do if I coloured outside the lines for a day?” As an adult I could choose to eat pizza for breakfast, spend money on a theme park or stay up late. So what would it look like for me to break my routine and be as playful and carefree as a child? My curiosity seemed to be sparked at the perfect time…
After two years of not being able to travel, my husband and I finally got to go on our trip originally scheduled for March 2020. I was equally anxious and excited for this All-Inclusive beach vacation. Surprised by my resilience to ride small waves of travelling stress, I found the courage to introduce the concept of YES Day. The first of many opportunities presented itself while waiting in the immigration cue at the airport. A fellow traveller complimented my husband’s t-shirt assuming that he was also a motorcycle owner or at least worked for the local business (both were not true and we had a laugh). The compliment turned into a conversation with him and his wife, and although we didn’t know it at the time, we were staying at the same resort. Throughout our vacation we got to know them better, along with a few other couples.
You may be asking, “What does YES Day have to do with meeting new people on vacation?” I could have gone deep-sea diving, taken a helicopter ride or even cruised around the island on a catamaran, but I wasn’t interested in these activities (although I did consider that last one). I have been in ‘protective mode’ for so long trying to keep safe from sickness and manage my mental health by limiting social interactions. So my YES Day became one small interaction after another with strangers, each time building up more courage and filling me with more happiness and joy. By the end of our holiday we knew where everyone lived and worked, a bit about their families and future goals, and how to keep a laugh going. Yes Day culminated under the moonlight, barefoot on the beach, dancing to Soca music and toasting a vacation well spent.
I had forgotten how much I enjoy having fun with people.
If you were to have a YES Day, what would you consider?