As we approach summer vacation time in the USA, I hear people making travel plans, bemoaning their lack of funds to do up a trip “right”, etc. Many younger people act as if it is their God-given right to get away from it all, where they spend too much money and too much energy trying to have a good time.
This is not something I understand.
My parents never took us on vacations. We’d do day trips when my dad had his two weeks off. But he was tried from his work in the factory and just wanted to spend his days off puttering around outside. Plus my folks didn’t have the money for annual sojourns to Disney, a beach house, or anything else.
When our children were younger, my husband and I didn’t often have concurrent chunks of time off. If one of us was able to take off five consecutive days, the other usually couldn’t. It was the nature of our jobs at the time. We took our children on day trips–the Thousand Islands, Cooperstown, Niagara Falls (the Canadian side), and the zoo.
In my current Day Job, we had a mandatory week off every July when the place shut down. And I loved it. That week forced me to take off five consecutive days instead of creating a series of long weekends. I’m going to miss that this year.
When I was young and single, I tried travelling for vacation a couple of times, but mostly ended up in a hotel room reading. I’m not a very touristy person. And I could sprawl in my own apartment with a book just as well as spend money to go away and do the same thing.
Vacations are supposed to be a time to relax. I see too many people returning from their jaunts more exhausted than when they left.
The exceptions to my missing the point of vacation are the RWA National Conferences I’ve attended. But the side trips weren’t the point of being in different cities. Yes, I loved the monuments and museums in DC. I’ve been to the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas and the Margaret Mitchell Museum in Atlanta. I’ve trod the RIverwalk and basked by the pool in Reno. And went shopping with my mother-in-law in Manhattan.
But going away for the sake of going away? I don’t get it. My husband would love to take a cruise. I don’t get it. Lounging on a beach? I tried it. Didn’t enjoy it. I’d rather lounge in my back yard.
Our annual vacation usually consists of a long weekend in Cooperstown for the Glimmerglass Festival and another at Capitolfest–a silent movie/early talkie film festival in a nearby city. Yes, we really do sit in a darkened theater for hours on end and watch movies. Oh, and there are the season tickets to the local Triple A baseball team. Trust me. We don’t lack for a life just because we don’t trek to the shore or go camping.
I tend to use my time off from my Day Job for writing. Or market research (a.k.a. reading).
As I’m getting older, I’m getting crankier and more reclusive. I’ve stopped trying to convince myself to do things I think I should do. Like go on vacation. And I’m happier for it.
(And, in case you don’t know where the title of this blog post came from, you can learn about it here.)