There is definitely something to be said for a lazy day on South Beach. The warm, salty air caresses your face, the hot Miami sun bakes your skin, and a sense of absolute relaxation permeates your being. The crowd around you is dynamic and energetic, but somehow you can retreat into the private cocoon of sand and shade, and sleep under a perfectly clear sky. I would never have pegged myself as a sun worshipper, but I have to say, a week of lazy luxury and I am an unabashed convert.
Miami is a strange city, a mixture of people of all ages and from all walks of life. The Miami Beach area alone is a people-watcher’s paradise. All manner of tourists and locals intermingle on hot, sunny pavement amidst throngs of bikers and runners, with waiters hollering their lunch specials from chock full restaurant patios. The air is permanently festive, and everyone (at least to this relaxation-deprived student) is breezy and easygoing. Even the architecture is irreverent, Art Deco with a touch of stucco and cheeky kitsch. For all intents and purposes, Miami is the perfect city to rest and reset.
This winter vacation has been like a revitalizing tonic, the chance to take a breath and step away from the grit and grind of grad school. Coming back to Montreal, I can take a breath of fresh air and focus on setting personal and academic goals for the New Year. 2012 will be a year to refine the skills that I have been building throughout the course of my master’s, and to work towards the completion of my degree. It will be a year to focus on the small things that I enjoy – music, running, cooking – that I have let fall at the wayside throughout the latter half of the year. It will be a year to focus on nourishing the important relationships in my life, and to make sure that I maintain a balance between my academic and personal life. 2012 will be a year of successful ends and exciting beginnings, and I’m ready to take it on with open arms and a fresh mind. Happy New Year and good luck!!