Man, I would love to go to the Bahamas. Or cruise off the coast of Greece. Maybe travel through Italy. If only my budget agreed. Nope, my budget says things like “What a nice hometown you have” and “Don’t worry, you will be able to retire someday.”
Who wants to wait for some day? I refuse to allow my finances tell me I can’t vacation. What do I do? Several things.
I staycation. Yup. Stay put. But while I am in the same location, I occupy myself with things I enjoy: reading, hiking, finding a new mini-series to watch, go for a nature walk. I treat myself to extra time in the shower and drink my coffee outside in a lawn chair, appreciating the breeze. I ignore the phone and light candles, build a campfire or pull out a board game. I bring flowers home and cook something out of the ordinary. I create, sing, draw, drink coffee and write. Housework is strictly forbidden as is paying bills. If you wish to tidy up do it because it is a source of personal pleasure. If something is an abhorrent chore to you, resolve to tackle it when your chosen vacation has come to an end.
I take day trips. There are so many great sites and places to visit within traveling distance of your home. I have found locations I never knew existed simply by paying closer attention. Swim and study the stars. Hunt for salamanders and capture minnows. Pop a tent, indoors or out. Spend time experiencing local history. Grab lunch with a friend.
A break does not have to be a week long. A relaxing swim or soak in a jacuzzi can be a conscious escape from daily worries and stress. My favorite moments often come from activities like reading, which place me mentally in another place. My mind travels as my body relaxes. Sitting by a fire in the evening with a beverage , even for fifteen or twenty minutes can do a body good. You can choose the timing and length of your vacation, but for it to be successful you need to accomplish a few things.
First of all, recognize this is special time that just belongs to you. Consciously allow worry to recede and focus on whatever your activity or new location is. Be mindful, actively present in the moment. Take time to be grateful for all the positives in your life. Vacation attitude is key. You decide that this time is unique and special , something to be savored and appreciated. Understand that this is necessary time for you to recharge your battery, so no guilt is allowed. You deserve happiness. Create it in your life.
I am returning to work this week after a summer break. This does not mean I am done with vacationing. In fact I am already looking forward to my oases of dedicated time. Some of my getaways will be on the weekend, others simply between professional and personal commitments. Nope. Won’t be in Disney or Australia, but I don’t need to be. I can choose to be happy wherever and whenever I wish.