Through the years, I’ve had my chance to occasionally enjoy over-the-top luxury when vacationing. Whether it was being put up at the Roosevelt in NYC courtesy of Columbia Records, staying at the Standard in LA while attending the Grammy’s, or doing a travel piece on the penthouse suite the W in Atlanta … I have had some remarkable opportunities to experience things that are typically reserved for folks much more important than me.
But while being put up at Sea Island this past weekend while on assignment for Tuxedo Road, I realized something. It’s not the level of luxury that makes you want to return year-after-year. Not the level of opulence that guarantees a happy getaway. Not the flashy name you can brag about to your friends.
It’s about feeling comfortable, feeling at home … and feeling at ease.
This most recent excursion was (for lack of better word) ridiculous. I had a massive suite at the Lodge, played golf with a caddie, took a lesson from Tiger’s putting coach, ate fat steaks and drank smoky scotch. It was immensely pleasurable in every facet. But what inspired me to write this story wasn’t the potential decadence I would receive as a travel writer, but instead it came from my yearly vacations to the area. Vacations with my one of my oldest friends, where we stayed with his aunt and uncle in their cozy home, ate fried seafood at the Crab Trap and when we weren’t toting our own bags around the golf course, we were reading, watching movies, writing, relaxing.
And because of the company, the hospitality and the ability to modestly enjoy my favorite things in life, I felt completely at ease. And that is what being on holiday is all about.
In this status obsessed climate we now live in, flashy names and high prices are what impress. But in the end, the vacations that are simple, understated and enjoyed in good company … are the ones that always remain closest to our heart.