I know it is not (just) me, since I have heard similar complaints from others. Â I’m not exactly when it happened, though I suspect it was when I started doing things on my own and away from my parents, but somewhere along the line a vacation stopped being about going somewhere to relax and recharge, and instead turned into something that I needed a vacation from when I returned.
My parents were not really beach people, and I think there was a grand total of one time that we actually went to the shore, and that was only because my uncle lived near the beach on Long Island for a brief time. Â So, when I started to drive, my first and almost weekly summer destination became the Jersey Shore. Â But of course in your late teens/early 20’s sleep is not something you are all that concerned about. Â Hitting the beach, roller blading on the boardwalk, closing clubs as many nights as possible..,. it was all about fun (not that there is anything wrong with that) but typically meant I was no more rested then when I left.
Later, when we could afford it, the trips moved from the shore to the islands. Â Aruba (honeymoon), Bahamas a couple of times, etc. Â But since (except for our honeymoon) we couldn’t afford full weeks in these locations, we would jet out for a 4 day weekend, Leaving Thursday and returning on Sunday. Â Other than the location though the routine was very similar. Â Lots of swimming (with swim up bars), night life, casinos, and then zip back home. Â On Monday when I got back to work, I needed a vacation to recover from my vacation.
Of course, once the princess came along it became all about her. Â Sesame Place, Hershey Park, Disney,and of course back to the Jersey Shore, since I was not going to keep her away from the beach like my parents did to me. Â But as anyone who has to deal with a little one on vacation knows, relaxation and little ones do not go hand in hand. Â It is all about keeping them occupied and entertained. Â It is about crafts, and rides, and I wanna do this, I wanna do that, I’m bored, and the like. Â While I was no longer staying up until all hours of the night, I was no more rested than I was on any other vacation.
Now I have written about our vacations about Chestnut Grove in the Poconos before… here (and here and a couple of more), so I won’t rehash the details of it again (Your Welcome). Â For the past 5 years we have gone there, and I realized this year (a little dense maybe) what it is that is so really great about it. Â It is not the accomodations (they are very basic), it is not the activities (though I enjoy them, I know the schedule like the back of my hand), it is not the food (which is good, but again, more homestyle than 5 star). Â It is about 2 things. Â The first is that as luck would have it, we met some really great people Â the week of our vacation. Â And since this is a place that people return year after year, we get to enjoy our vacation with these same people every year (and LatteGirl has friends that she has made and kept over those years). Â It is all very predictable to an extent. Â The way I described it to one person is that it is a vacation that is a lot like a Yatzee Cup. Â Much like you have 5 dice, all the same, the vacation sports the same people, the same food, the same location every time. Â But like when you shake that Yatzee cup and roll the dice, despite everything being the same, each year like each roll, brings different results. Â We interact more with some people and less with others. Â There are variables out of our control like the rain we had this year for the first 3-1/2 days. Â Getting calls from work that briefly interrupts my activites, and everything else. Â So while everything seems to be the same, the results come out different.
But the best thing of all is that I come home relaxed. Â When I get home, I feel a bit nostalgic and sad about saying goodbye to the friends I will not see for another year (well, except perhaps on Facebook), I feel recharged. Â I feel rested. Â I feel ready to take on the world again. Â And isn’t that what a vacation is supposed to do?
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret any of the vacations and trips of the past, and certainly seeing new places and things is good. Â I’m not saying that this vacation is for everybody. Â And I am certainly going to be going on vacations like the trip to Disney World we are planning for 2011 where I will be more worn out (and broke) than I am now, but if you haven’t done so, I highly recommend finding a vacation that is about recharging you… whatever that means to you. Â If it surfing great. Â Hiking in the mountains. Â You don’t have to be sedentary to be rested. Â But you do need something that will allow you to be yourself. Â To forget about the trials and tribulation of the everyday. Â Go ahead… find your smile. Â That is after all what it is all about.