There’s this common, preconceived notion that the one week — two of you’re lucky — that you get to take time off from work and still get paid full-time you’re going to use it to travel somewhere far, far away. The minute your family, friends and coworkers find out that you have a vacation coming up, they automatically want to know where you’re going and who you’re going with. It gets to a point that you become so accustomed to wanting to have a cool answer for them — i.e. ‘A 6-day, 7-night Eastern Caribbean Cruise’ or ‘Nowhere special, just backpacking across Europe’ — that sometimes you feel like you’re only booking these trips to wow all your inquisitors.
Maybe it’s just me, but shouldn’t a vacation be free time for you to do exactly what you want to do? If that means going on a cruise or going backpacking, great. But if it means staying home all day every day being a couch-potato, then so be it.
‘So, you’re just gonna stay in the house all day and do nothing?’ some of my friends have asked me before.
No. Actually, I can find a million and one enjoyable things to do whether in my house or around town. This is New York City after all; this place is a cornucopia of ‘things-to-do’ if you haven’t noticed. Not to mislead anyone though, I love to travel. Going to places I’ve never been; experiencing different cultures; and simply taking in new and unfamiliar sights is one life’s smallest joys in my opinion. If I could, I would travel to every corner and crevice of the Earth and beyond, and who knows, I just might. But that’s not what this is about…
There is nothing wrong with not city/country/island-hopping every single time you have a full week or more off from work. It’s perfectly fine, in fact, and here’s why:
1. I don’t know about you, but the daunting task of packing/unpacking is not exactly relaxing. Whether you’re going away for a weekend or a month, you’re going to need to pack things that you won’t even realize you need until you sit down and really think about it. Then it becomes this thing where you have to decide if you REALLY need this or if you just want to bring it. Not to mention, you might need something you don’t already have, so a light shopping spree might be in order on top of everything else.
2. Define ‘relaxing.’ I’ll wait. Now think about how much you do while you’re on vacation. You’re probably in a city you’ve never been to before, or an island you always wanted to visit. My guess is that you’ll be gallivanting around town, eating at all the tempting restaurants, partying it up at all the hippest clubs, etc. In fact, you probably will have used up more energy than you do at work. That’s cool, nothing wrong with a little exercise. But of course, before you know it, it’s time to go back home where, once again, work awaits you.
3. Unless you work from home, chances are that you literally spend more time at work — or at least it feels like it. Take a chill pill for once and get your mortgage/rent money’s worth. Embrace your humble abode.
4. Time flies when you’re having fun. When you’re away on vacation, two weeks usually feels more like a couple of days at most. On a “stay-cation” though, time doesn’t just come and go — lay down, watch TV and enjoy as you get lost in all the hours on end that you finally get to yourself or with your loved one(s).
In short, “stay-cations” aren’t as bad as you may think. It can actually provide the balance in your life that you didn’t know you needed. Thank me later.
As an aside, I want to point out that I’ve been plotting on my next trip for quite some time now. I reiterate: I LOVE to travel and experience different cultures/atmospheres. Just because I can appreciate time spent at home, doesn’t mean I can stand to do so all the time. The moral of this post is to find comfort in doing both!