No. 121

Why I’m Never Taking Another Vacation

Growing up, family vacations generally fell into two main categories: beach vacations and Orlando, Florida. For a long time, I thought those were the only kind of vacations people took.

Relaxation

The beach was always my mother’s thing. She loved the sound of long lazy days near the surf and sand, exploring the area here and there, but mainly just “relaxing”. The beach provided the escape she needed from her regular routine, and for me and my brother, it meant extra time with our father, who often worked 60+ hour weeks to provide for his family. There was an imbalance I saw, all the work and the little vacation time to relax.

Blame it on my living in large cities or the fact that I’m my father’s daughter, but I’m doer. I’m always moving, working, trying to create. I don’t want to sit and try to relax for days on end. But more importantly, I don’t want those few days to be the only time to relax.

Relaxation is becoming a daily practice for me. It comes in time at the gym, reading, writing, meditation… When it’s warm, I hike, and whenever I can, I go to the archery range and shoot. (Combining archery and hiking? Now that’s the best.)

Excitement

Orlando, on the other hand, was the epitome of an exciting vacation when I was a child. The lights, the rides, the constant chaos of people moving about the parks and waiting in queues — it was easy to enjoy it all. As I got older, Orlando became Vegas or Atlantic City (mainly based upon the wishes of ex-boyfriends).

But as time passed, I found myself bored. I didn’t find sitting for hours, pulling the handle of a slot machine, and hoping I strike it big thrilling. And even though I still very much enjoy a good wooden roller coaster, it’s somehow not the same.

Excitement had changed entirely for me.

Nourishment

Vacations changed again. This time, they were more about pampering myself with a massage or eating at an upscale restaurant. I wanted to indulged a little bit, and I wanted to nourish myself a lot.

We all need time away from our daily lives, to see the world again, to see ourselves again, but I’ve used — and seen other people use — vacations as an excuse to nourish ourselves or even just finally take time we need for ourselves. We should’t need an excuse. We should take that time now. Nourish now. Relax now. And find excitement in every day.

Me

I’ve learned that I need to add relaxation, excitement, and nourishment into my daily life, not just “vacation time”. I’m by no means perfect at it. Sometimes a whole week goes by before I realize I’ve spend nearly 12+ hours each day working. But I’m getting better at it and making little steps. Sometimes, it’s as simple as making sure I go to the gym in the morning and trying out a new cafe in the afternoon. But those small things make a signifiant difference in how I feel about my life.

As for vacation time, I’m going to redefine it.

I want to travel and adventure. I want to laugh with strangers in places I’ve never been before. I want to wander streets and lose my way, discover little galleries and restaurants and bakeries. I want the sky at night to be filled with strange stars and spices in the air. I want to fall in love with cities and towns and places that have lost their names.

This is where I feel alive.

So I’ve decided I will never take another vacation. From here on out, I’m taking time for myself every day. From here on out, there’s nothing but adventures and journeys, wherever they should take me.

So what will you do to nourish yourself today? And what adventure will be your next?

About brandi

Brandi is a digital strategist, website developer, and founder of Alchemy+Aim, a company that helps entrepreneurs and business owners elevate their online presence and enhance their digital experience. Her academic background in theatre, philosophy and physics was the perfect foundation for launching her business, where she’s worked with Brené Brown, Laverne Cox, Judy Smith, and other notable thought leaders since 2013. She is an advocate for using technology in ways that humanize, connect and serve people as well as for asking deeper philosophical questions and teaching others to think more broadly about impact when they create, particularly in STEAM fields.

9 thoughts on “Why I’m Never Taking Another Vacation

  1. My vacations are all about adventure – I can’t stand for too much relaxation as I get bored and distracted easily. That being said, it’s not very restful and typically I come back more exhausted than when I stepped out

  2. Love this! I so enjoy the chances I have to explore someplace new or treat myself on an ordinary day. It is so important to remember to take time to enjoy yourself and take care of yourself and find adventure now instead of putting them off and waiting until vacation. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. I’ve never thought of vacations this way, but you’re right. I hardly went on any vacations as a kid, or as an adult either, but I feel like I’m pretty good at relaxing every weekend. I love not having to leave my apartment. That’s my idea of relaxation. And doing whatever I want without a schedule. I just do whatever I feel in the mood to do, which is usually writing, reading and watching movies. I’m very good at doing nothing for hours, especially when there’s a good movie involved :)

    I’m glad you’re finding your balance. And I love the idea of finding that excitement in every life, not just at theme park (one of my favorites up until a few years ago too. I was sad that I don’t enjoy roller coasters as much as I used to, but I love how you put it, that excitement has changed for you. Perfect.).

  4. I love you and this. I also hate the word vacation, for this inherent implication of “break from crummy daily life to finally do nothing.” What an awful, depressing thought. I love my doer, crazy, stupidly busy daily life, and when I travel somewhere, that life comes with me. I am never escaping anything, I am simply growing constantly. And sometimes that means growth and nourishment through travel and sometimes it means growth and nourishment through 16-hour days. But it never, ever means growth and nourishment through sitting on a beach and doing nothing. Not for me.

  5. I find “vacations” to be different for myself. Growing up, we never (and I’m not even exaggerating) went on family vacations. Once we went to San Diego with my parents because my dad got a job painting someones house down there. I got horribly sun burnt and spent half the time helping my parents. So not very vacation-y. We also tried to go camping a few times as a “vaca” but it never ended well.

    So those thoughts have carried over into my adult life. What I consider “vacation” is the two week period of time around Christmas each year where I get to fly home, get stuffed with food that makes me fat, stress over whether or not I’ve seen each family member enough to make them happy then usually, by the end, get sick on my way home. It’s never fun for me. I feel like I’m getting too old for it.

    So point of that, is I would like to go in a vacation sometime that I can experience things like relaxation, excitement and nourishment. But I agree with you, I find that I try to get those things into my daily life as well. Maybe life was suppose to be one long vacation but we have turned it into something else and the point is to fight our way back to the vacation feel.

  6. Vacations have always meant visits to family for me. I’ve been on an actual “vacation” only a few times in my life, and I’m fine with that. A trip to Wisconsin to visit relatives that includes an afternoon in a long-loved coffee shop, with a view of the lake I’d walk to as a little girl? That’s plenty of nourishment for me. A visit with my sister? That tires me out but also fills me up.

    It’s when I’m home, in this long gap of time between breaks in school, when all my assignments hit at once, that I need the kind of vacation you describe. A pause from twelve hours in front of the computer, revising my resume and writing lessons and units…

    The hard part is, when I’ve spent three days straight in front of the computer like this, it’s hard to switch it off–the way of thinking, not the laptop itself. That’s the part I’m still figuring out, how to switch from “work!” mode to nourishment when there’s still so much left to do.

  7. Brandi, I remember when I would post my meditation posts and you’d tell me you were wanting to meditate as well. I’m so glad to see you mention it here. Were you able to find a rhythm with it? I go in and out of phases of meditation, unfortunately. Something kicks me off the wagon and it’s so hard to catch back up after missing it. It serves me so well when I do meditate, though, that I always wonder how I ever stopped for even a day!

    I try to make a little “me” time every day. I think I should immerse myself fully into the moment I’m setting aside just for me and I’m sure it’ll be that much more nourishing. I’m glad to hear you’re taking that much needed time to yourself every day, it’s so important for our wellbeing and health! Miss you :)

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Credits

Jane Reaction

(logo and original branding) is a graphic design and art director who works with with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs, creating cohesive and interesting brands and websites.

Carrie Coleman

(photography) is a wedding photographer, whose goal is to capture the visual expression of a couple's love through timeless, organic images. She is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.