Sometimes we travel and sometimes we vacation. The dictionary defines the two as such:
Travel: (v) make a journey, typically of some length or abroad. (n) the action of traveling, typically abroad. journeys, especially long or exotic ones
Vacation: (v) take a vacation. (n) an extended period of recreation, especially one spent away from home or in traveling. the action of leaving something one previously occupied.
Traveling and Vacationing are two different birds my world. Why yes, for the most part, we travel to take a vacation until the recession brought to light the stay-cation and we cut out the travel part. I’m a firm believer that there are two different types of trips and I love them equally.
Here’s how I define the two.
Travel: (v) To explore local culture and native surroundings.
Vacation: (v) To go somewhere and relax.
I love trips in general and if I don’t have one planned I get a little depressed. I will walk around with a gray cloud over my head the first few weeks I return to work because all my travel is over. If I haven’t gone out of town for a while, I get antsy. Sadly these trips require funding (life sponsor, where are you?) and I must return to work or those paychecks stop showing up. For this, I will work. However, I will go without many things before I stop funding my travels.
When I travel, I explore. My curious side gets the best of me and I want to see/do it all. I want to eat the local food, drink the local beer and do what the locals do. I don’t want to visit tourist traps and shop in a gift shop. Travel sometimes requires passports and shots for funky diseases.Travel means you don’t drink the local water unless you want to lose 20 pounds in 48 hours. Travel makes your heart race for the unknown. It races for seeing new sites and tasting new flavors. Travel reminds you how small your little world is. It reminds you that you are not like everyone else and they are not like you. It’s where social norms make you wiggle in your seat because sometimes they’re just weird to you. Travel teaches you to find common ground with someone who appears so different from you. Travel makes you grow and in my opinion, a better person.
If travel is adventure and heart racing than vacationing is the yin to this yang. Vacations are for rest and restoring. They are for making no plans and wearing your hair however you wish all day. A vacation is of sitting on the beach with a good book and cold drink and nothing more. Vacations are for quality time with your people or none of your people. On vacations you pause. You remember how sweet life is and how quickly it can pass by. You gain time to process and heal or plot and kill. Ok, maybe not that last one. On vacations, you laugh too much with your people and enjoy the nothingness of it all. You sit there and soak in the sunsets. Vacations are good. Even if it’s the stay-cation kind. They are slow and easy and all things good.
We need them both, adventure and rest. I love the both for all that they offer. I need them both. So whether you vacation to that old family spot where you feel like a local or travel to new land and get a little lost this summer, enjoy it.
Now run along and plan a trip or two!
I’m off to catch a flight!