Things you learn… on vacation

As any med student knows, vacay is just as essential to our training as the blocks of learning we do.  Without a break here and there, your brain just… kinda melts.

Seriously, though, down time is important to mental well-being and how you perceive your education as a whole. (Part of the reason why I preferred a 4-year to a 3-year program.) A soft reset once in a while helps bring up your energy, your mood, and helps you reconnect with friends and family.  Plus this time I had a bit of extra thinking space to get my CaRMS rank list together.  (shudder)  My beautiful spreadsheet is glorious.

I was fortunate enough to spend the last 2 weeks in Maui, one of my favourite places in the whole world.  And while we did have a couple of pretty slow days, I still did a lot of learning.  Do read on.

  • Slow days are not lost days.  There’s something refreshing about quietly reading away a whole afternoon.
  • I suck at golf except for every 5 shots.
  • Then I want to train for the PGA tour.
  • (But seriously, I suck pretty hard.)
  • SPF 30.  It’s the shield and armour of us whitey people.
  • There’s less conversation at dinner when you go out in the US.  Everyone else does plenty.
  • Honestly, it’s impossible not to listen in when they don’t have that invisible conversation bubble I’m used to.
  • Gary Busey may be running around disguised as an even scarier-looking dude and terrorizing a McDonald’s in Kahalui.
  • There isn’t a variety of native Hawai’ian fish that isn’t delicious.
  • I may yet conquer my fear of snorkeling in open water (you were awesome, L).
  • Sea turtles help with the above.  My big beloved honu.  Super chill to swim with.
  • DO NOT kayak then stretch your biceps right away.  DON’T.  (Nasty inflammation after, ouchies.)
  • On big hikes, consistency is key.  Don’t bound up 100 feet then crawl the next 100.  Easy does it.
  • Being close to a humpback whale from a laughably tiny kayak is a humbling experience.
  • Topical diclofenac (i.e. Emulgel) actually helps take the sting out of sunburns.
  • While golfing, be gentle with your club handles.  If you use the Grip of Death, they will reward you with many blisters.
  • Have at least every other dinner in your place.  It’s fun to BBQ in February and eating out is that much more savoury.
  • Try not to roll your eyes every time an American sports commentator puts down a non-US Olympian.
  • Do not look for single, 20-something dudes in Kapalua.  You will not find them.
  • Like water stuff?  Those GoPro cameras are amazing.  (See above)
  • Savour and cherish every moment of your vacation.  It’ll be over before you know it.

Now, as I still have another week and a bit, I’ll be spending some time editing my screenplay and helping a bit with the upcoming skit show…  Can’t wait!

 – Atalanta

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