While practicing law I spent my precious time off alternating between international and domestic vacations. During this journey through North America, I will inevitably revisit some cities. I write from Savannah, Georgia, where I spent a 10-day vacation years ago. Last month I returned to Memphis, Tennessee, where I vacationed with friends for a week back in the early 2000’s.

When I was working, I was never the type for beach vacations. Sitting around and doing nothing was, and somewhat still is, a form of torture for me (although I am beginning to cultivate a taste for it). On vacation in my prior life, I wanted to pound the pavement, fold and refold the map until it was unreadable, argue with taxi drivers, and suck the marrow out of the city. Memphis and Savannah are two very good examples of my frenetic vacation pace.There is very little in the way of tourist attractions and sites that I did not see the first time.

Have you ever started liking a band by listening to its greatest hits? After the chart toppers, I migrate to the most famous albums, and if I’m still interested, I get into the more obscure stuff. iTunes calls these layers “The Essentials,” “Next Steps,” and “Deep Cuts.”

I love a city’s Deep Cuts.

In Memphis, having already seen the duck parade at the Peabody Hotel, I stopped this time for a leisurely lunch. I previously toured Graceland and Sun Studios;

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this time, it was Stax Records and Slave Haven, a home that was part of the underground railroad.

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I had walked and photographed Beale Street, so this time I ate dinner, listened to live music, and played pool there.

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Returning to a city now affords me the opportunity for unadulterated “me time.” Here in Savannah I have done very little in the way of sightseeing, but I have been enjoying walks on the farm where I am staying, catching up on the blog, doing copious amounts of laundry, and spending quality time with the two new dogs. There’s no need to rush out, both because I have been here before, and because I’m spending three weeks here. I am not on vacation in Savannah; I am temporarily living in Savannah. There will be plenty of time for sightseeing when my friends Becky and Gil arrive from Baton Rouge on July 10.

I am realizing that by choosing this life, I exited the rat race both in work and leisure.