There are so many reasons why taking a vacation is crucial to your personal well being. There have even been endless articles promoting this notion. In this article from Inc Magazine, one is encouraged to take a vacation even if you don’t have money to do so. About.com focuses on the stress we endure and how a vacation can help us avoid work burnout, keep us healthy with a “recharge,” and ultimately, make us better at our jobs because we come back to work feeling energized and often more focused.
Last week, I took my first “staycation.” According to wikipedia, the term was first coined in 2005 on TV. It later gained popularity in 2008 during our economic dip when people began staying home during vacations due to lack of disposable income. It became an official dictionary word in 2009.
People who know me were puzzled about my choice of vacation destination: namely, my couch. In the past – if you’re a regular blog reader, you can infer this quickly – I’ve taken some extravagant vacations, such as 10-day cruises around Europe or singles trips to Costa Rica. “Why are you staying home?” many asked.
The answer was simple. While I knew I needed to recharge my battery, so to speak, I also knew that I didn’t have a spare $2000 lying around for a summer holiday. So, I chose a week in August to remove myself from work and stay home. It was a fabulous, reflective experience. Spending a week with yourself can be daunting to some, but as someone pointed out to me, “It’s a great thing that you’re choosing to spend time with yourself.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, I socialized. I went out a few times with the wonderful guy I’ve been dating. I joined my college friend at the sprinkler park and watched her nearly 2-year-old run around with delight. I caught up with my mom on the phone. I even taught my “Writing your Online Dating Profile” class. But I spent a lot of time in my pajamas, sleeping and watching Dexter on Netflix (I’m currently on season 5!), and even caught the 3-hour movie “Boyhood” in the middle of the day.
It was a wonderful experience. While vacations in Europe are amazing, it’s also very rewarding to just take a week off and hang out at home.
Next time you’re wondering where to spend your vacation, consider your own home and community.