What is vacation to you? And why do you need it?

I’ve been thinking about the phrase “vacation” lately. I often overhear people saying things like “Oh God, I need a vacation!” Or “I haven’t taken a vacation in forever!”

But what exactly is a vacation – and why do most people reference it in the same manner? Like it’s some kind of “pause” from an otherwise torturous life.

I mean for one – average “vacations” cost a ton of money. Money you’ll never get back (i.e., it is not a store of value).

And are “vacations” just temporary relief from an otherwise poorly planned out life? What if your entire life could be considered a vacation, regardless if you stay put or travel?

Tropical paradise vacation

Vacation is a state of mind, isn’t it?

My belief is that people would not be clamoring for “vacations” if they didn’t live lifestyles that otherwise wore them down them in some shape or form. Your things, routine, job, friends. The stress with maintaining a certain lifestyle may actually cause the need for a vacation as a remedy for possibly going insane.

Or what about your personality? Would changing your thought process from “slave laborer in debt” to “dreamer” help you find contentment? Isn’t contentment what we’re ultimately seeking?

What about appreciating what you have here, nearby – finding undiscovered gems locally without the heavy cost (emotionally, financially) of travel? Or learning to live with less, kind of “downsizing” your life (and reducing the stress that goes along with a hectic life?)

If you find yourself often saying “I need a vacation,” are you actually really saying “I need to change something about my life?”

Plush country vacation

Does living environment affect the need to go on vacation?

I know city living can be overwhelming for many. Especially with arduous daily commuting that wears many people down.

What if you changed your living environment? Got a home at the beach? Or in the country? Or out in the mountains? Would you still need a vacation then?

Vacation, Adventure, Traveling

I also believe that there’s a big difference in the three phrases / words: Vacation, Adventure. Traveling.

Some folks are just the “adventurous types,” and whether they’re traveling or not – always find themselves doing exciting things. That’s more of a lifestyle.

And traveling too. While it is costly to travel using conventional modes of transport – the true “travelers” in this world can backpack around the globe with little or no money.

But ordinary vacations (flights, hotels, etc.) can apply to everyone – and are almost cookie cutter in my opinion. Often a big waste of money too.

relaxing mountain vacation

Do vacations today really reduce stress?

Lastly, does taking a week off from “work” to travel somewhere actually reduce stress? Packing your bags, going to the airport, waiting on line, dealing with the invasive security checkpoints, sitting on an over-priced and cramped plane just to spend a few days elsewhere is enough to prevent me from wanting to take that plunge.

Maybe a vacation that lasts two or three months, but how much would that cost?

So what about taking regular vacations makes people repeat the process? Memories? Fun, food, drink, happiness they couldn’t find elsewhere? Updating a social media account to “keep up with the Joneses?”

What if you “erased” all the vacations you’ve taken in the last 10 years. Would you be better off with the money minus the experiences?

Or is it absolutely necessary to drastically change your environment from time to time?

I guess I’ll think about this some more. I need another Margarita…