You may consider my title a strange question, but I think it is worth exploring. I was recently reading a posting from my Facebook memories feed about the planning of my itinerary for a trip my husband and I were planning to go on. One of the comments on the post was that I needed to relax, it was a vacation. That got me thinking, what is a vacation?
According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary a vacation is a period of time that a person spends away from home, school, or business usually in order to relax or travel. That sounds simple enough, but is it? People vacation in a wide range of ways, and the trick is to find people who like to travel and relax in the same manner you do. It also may mean you need to make adjustments to the way you travel in order to accommodate everyone’s desires and interests.
My husband, Ron, and I always traveled with an itinerary. I read tourist books and mapped out our trips. I knew what we were doing each and every day, and quite frequently we were up with an alarm clock to make sure we arrived at places when they opened to get a jump on the day. That is how our kids grew up. There were many people that thought we were nuts, but then those same people would say “wow, you saw/did a lot on your trip.” Well yes, that is the result of planning and being on the go.
We would hear people talk about their vacations, traveling somewhere and then spending a good portion of their time sitting around a pool, or on the beach, sleeping in late and doing a lot of nothing. People would go camping and spend the majority of their time sitting around the campground, chatting with other campers, sitting around bonfires, etc. When Ron and I heard vacations such as those being described we would think “how boring.”
So which is the proper vacation? They both are. A vacation should be whatever you want it to be. Do what makes the days fun-filled and relaxing for you and your travel companions. People are unique and everyone has their own set of needs. What is good for you may drive me bonkers; what is right for me may leave you feeling stressed and exhausted.
Then I started wondering how my vacation plans may be affected by the fact that my husband has passed and I am now alone. Ron was always a morning person — his feet hit the floor and he was off and running. I like to get up and see and do a lot, but I frequently start my day at a slower pace than he liked. I think I will find a balance for myself that is similar to what I have always done, but maybe a bit more relaxed. Whatever I end up doing, it will be the same. It will be different. It will be me. That is what a vacation should be.