Thursday, October 7, 2010

Daydream Believer: My Mental Vacation

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I go on vacation, like, never. And while being unemployed (screw that "[f]unemployed" business, this shiz is not fun) may appear to be vacationesque, the fear of not being able to pay my bills keeps me from really being able to sit back & enjoy the view. Because, you know, vacations aren't supposed to be brokedown & stressful.

So I don't think about vacations much. Except when I do, which is actually fairly often, because I want to know: What does "vacation" mean, anyway? What are the criteria for a vacation?
  • Does a staycation count? What if you end up doing household chores like cleaning the air ducts & reorganizing the closets? That doesn't seem like a vacation to me. Do you have to go somewhere, do something?
  • What if there's no beach, no ski resort, no cruise, no hotel? What if it's just you & a friend hopping on the train to NYC for a weekend? How about camping? Is that a vacation? 
  • How long do you have to be away for it to count as a vacation? And that sentence assumes that you need to be away in the first place. Please refer back to my "staycation" question.
And so on & so on, ad infinitum. Yes, I think about these things.

I tend to think vacations are supposed to include beaches, but I don't even like the beach. I know, I know. "What kind of freak doesn't like the beach?" I only went on one college trip with friends, one wild & rowdy Spring Break that wasn't wild or rowdy at all. Just me & two friends wandering the boardwalk in Virginia Beach, visiting with a few sailors & writing silly things in the sand, all while wearing jeans & hoodies because it was too damn cold to be near the water. Fine by me; I don't like the water at all. I was never going to be a Cancun girl.

And I'm not that big on sightseeing-style traveling, either. I've never been off the continent, save a high school cruise to the Bahamas, & while it'd be nice to see the world, I'm not exactly clamoring for passport stamps. For me, traveling has never been about the places; rather, it's about the people in the places. I'd always rather visit an old friend than a new place, but traveling is expensive, kids, so unless I can buy a $20 Megabus ticket, I'm probably not gonna make it.

What, then, does my ideal vacation look like? Am I even allowed to think about vacations while I'm unemployed, living on my mom's dime & desperately trying not to fritter away my meager savings? I feel guilty. But vacation is a state of mind, right? Maybe I deserve that daydream now more than ever. Ain't no shame in a (free) daydream.

So where would I rather be, the girl who doesn't do beaches & can't ski & hates Vegas? My ideal vacation is the same place it's always been: the cabin in the Pennsylvania woods where we go every year with family friends, where we've been going since I was a baby. The one place in the world where this suburban-cum-city girl gets down with nature & sleeps in a cabin too often graced by the presence of bugs & woodland creatures. Where I swim in a lake, for crying out loud. Where there are no bikinis (OK, fine, there are never any bikinis in my life, period) & no gambling & no cruise ships & no fancy hotels. Just me & my mom & the family friends who've simply become family.

We went out there this summer, when I sold an MGMT ticket in favor of making the six-hour drive so that I could instead roast marshmallows & fall asleep around a bonfire & shoot three clay pigeons (!) & finish a book & gorge myself on my uncle's brunch & even try ribs for the first time. It's my happy place, the place I think of when everything else is going to shit. It's never fancy & never for longer than a long weekend, but when August rolls around, rarely do I feel the need to vacation anyplace new. When you love one place so much, why waste your precious vacation days elsewhere?

And now, back to my regularly scheduled lack of daydreaming. Haven't you heard? I've got a job to find, y'all.

Don't forget to enter the “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, for a chance to win your own ultimate family vacation. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do. [Photo from weheartit.com]

4 comments:

Stephany said...

I'm not a big fan of the beach, either. I hate cold weather. And I have no desire to travel. So we're on the same page with this one!

That cabin sounds amazing. I haven't roasted marshmallows in YEARS.

icantbelieveabletumblr said...

I've got the travel bug! But it's just part of who I am...and my job. I love seeing new places, trying new food, meeting new people - so I always want to go somewhere different. And if I can meet friends/family in the places I visit, then that is even better!

But I definitely think I could get down with your fam's "Dan in Real Life" type of vacay spot! It sounds awesome ^_^

terra said...

I travel every chance I get. But, sometimes the best times are spent in the backyard at a friend's house, at a relative's beach house with a big group of friends or around the campfire. Also, marshmallows make everything great.

Kelly said...

Everyone should have a cabin in PA. Period. My family has one an hour outside Erie. You're dead on with this one.

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