Thursday, June 12, 2008

No Vacation? So What?

With the rising gas prices and hurting economy, there's been a lot of talk in the news about people not taking vacations this year. Instead people are taking "staycations", which is a word that I hope withers away and dies quickly. One of my biggest pet peeves is when the media makes up supposedly cutesy words to describe things. Made up words should be used only in cases of extreme sarcasm and internet-speak, not in the media. But anyways, that's besides the point.

There have been lots of articles and whatnot about making the most of your vacation at home, which is cool and all, but there has also been some negativity attached to the fact that people here in the US, a country that hands out vacation days as if they were rations during a food shortage, are ended up stuck at home on their one or two weeks off that they have for this year. I can totally understand that sentiment, but on the other hand vacation travel can be stressful as well.

Personally, I'm not completely sold on the idea that you should travel when you have a vacation. I do like to travel, but because I end up doing some traveling for my job (albeit it is business travel, so mostly full of suck, but travel nonetheless) I enjoy taking some time off and NOT traveling. And I don't think there should be anything negative construed about that fact.

The biggest problem that I have when I take vacations is that the week before I go on vacation I usually end up putting in a whole bunch more work time to try and get things done before I leave, then I have vacation (which is nice), but the whole time I know that when I get back I'm going to be overwhelmed trying to catch up. So for the week or so after vacation I'm also killing myself to catch up. It's just not worth it sometimes.

I've run up my vacation bank at work and am sitting at my limit continually so I take a day off here or there each month just so I don't lose them and I think that works out fine. And if I'm going to take an extended amount of time off, I like having my laptop and blackberry with me. Sure, I then end up working a couple of hours a day, but I'm not so rushed the week prior or after my vacation. And I save money.

And I get to catch up on so many things I've gotten behind on, like books I want to read, movies I want to see, personal projects I want to finish... and sometimes it feels more rewarding to really dig into those types of things instead of stressing out over traveling and getting yourself more behind with things. I almost feel like I need a vacation after a vacation (depending upon what I do or where I go).

So let's drop the negative stigma that's creeping onto the concept of the "staycation" and let's also not ever use that word again. People finally get a summer to catch up on all the little things they've let go instead of stressing out about going somewhere. I don't think that's a big deal at all.

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