Friday, July 31, 2009

Top 10 things you forget on Vacation

Vacation! Who doesn't love a good vacation? Well if you don't. If you're one of those workaholic-take your laptop to the beach so you can check your emails-drives around till the blackberry is in range sorts, this blog post is not for you. I believe that it's very important to be actively engaged in your work. But it is at least as important to be actively engaged in your relaxation. If you can't do this, then something is not right. I don't care if you love your work. That's no excuse. Life is like a good meal. there are several courses and between courses you must cleanse your palette in order to appreciate the next course. Vacation is like this. You must properly remove yourself from your prior life so you may return to it with renewed vigor. Well, enough about that. you workaholics know who you are and right now you are justifying your lack of life and about to go back to your email to see if someone needs you (because you are SO indispensable)

So I am, as we speak, on vacation. Or more to the point I'm at a pre-vacation staging position. Without going into detail. Lets just say that there is a point at which you are no longer at home, but not quite on vacation. You are in the hotel or condo or tent but you haven't done anything that differentiates you from your regular life yet. You are in vacation limbo. It is at this point that you slowly let go of your regular life and prepare to buy a 8 dollar churro. It is also at this point that you take stock of all the things your forgot. No matter how well you prepare for a vacation you forget stuff. It's as constant as the sun's morning rise. You can make your checklists all you want. It's the execution that's the problem. So here it is. 10 things you forget on Vacation. This will also include things you forget WHILE on vacation that because I need 10 things.

10. Locked the Door - You spend your life working to put things into a house that you've bought and when you go on Vacation, you leave those things. Some would say that being able to spend some time with those things would equal a vacation as well, but that's a different story. You are in the middle of doing things that you would never do and in the rush to 'get out of Dodge' you forget, or you forget IF you locked the door. You don't make this realization until you are a long enough distance away that it is a lot of trouble to go back and check. They say that if you do this on a regular basis, that it's the beginning of some kind of mental illness. Well warm up the straight jacket.

9. Tickets - A wise vacationer NEVER pays rack rate for anything. Thanks to this handy invention of Al Gores, we can all get great deals to myriad attractions and events. Well if you are going somewhere important you usually have many tickets to keep track of. Along with this category is passports/special identification. If you end up going to Southern California, you are going to have to remember that we haven't anexed Tijuana yet. Personally the only reason I would go there is to buy good vanilla. When it comes to tickets, the thing you wonder if you remembered is not the main event ticket, but rather the tickets to one of the supporting events. Like the shuttle ticket to or from the airport. or maybe the parking passes, or something else that isn't enough to ruin your vacation, but it IS enough to put a dent in your self image.

8. Socks - I say socks, but it really is any sundry clothing item that you take for granted being there. somtimes it's socks, sometimes it's underwear (only one section if you wear 2 pieces of underwear), sometimes it's the relaxing shoes (sandals etc.). Usually you only forget this stuff once. after that you are cured. But after that. You'll bring extras. Better safe than sorry.

7. Utilities - This is on the same order as locked the door, but it's the different utilities that you have in the house. Did you remember to turn off the lights (except that special one that scares away burglars.) Did you remember to turn off the oven? (because you cooked yourself a large country style breakfast before you rushed off to the airport). The other thing that falls under this category is the mail. did you forget to turn off the mail delivery? or have a friend check it for you? So many things to remember and if you did them early enough in your exodus, you may think you forgot them.

6. Your sense of economic well being - This is what you forget when you are actually ON vacation. If you are going to enjoy yourself, you are going to have to turn off your inner miser. You know, that guy that tells you not to buy things like a drink at lunch or dessert at dinner because you are not being prudent. Well I've heard it said first by a local radio personality and continued by countless voices, 'Moderation in all things, including moderation.' Give yourself a little leeway. If you are more liberal in your spending in your regular life, maybe you should go the other way on vacation and turn into a cheap skate, but I think it works better the other way around.

5. What you do for a living - If you have taken a vacation properly. when you come back to work, you are not really certain that you have any idea what you are doing. Perhaps you have been faking it the whole time? It should take you a good couple of days to get back into the swing of your regular work a day rut.

4. Money - I think most of us live on credit cards. I know I do. Don't get me wrong. I don't use them for credit, I pay the balance every month. If everyone were like me, the credit card companies would have to really stick it to the retailers. But there are cases when you really do need cash. My dad was a BIG proponent of cash. so much so that he was often the target of people that would endevor to relieve him of it. But he used to say 'Mark, there are some deals that can only be made in cash' If you watch cops, you realize that this is true. But there are other more legal goods and services that are also done in cash. few people accept tips in credit card form unless you are adding it to the meal ticket. You need to carry a healthy stack o ones for tips, and tolls. Cash also tends to be a faster transaction, and on Vacation there are many times when speed is of the essence.

3. That one bag - You've got it all, you've prepacked a few weeks in advance and your bags stare at you with all the anticipation of a dog waiting for you to give the word so he can snap up that biscut you put on his nose. If you do that far enough in advance, you will invariably miss one bag. Or better yet you didn't miss a bag at all...or did appear to have everything, but it seems like there was a bag that had OTHER things in it and you really needed it to ... oh no, never mind, it's here. Or was it that one after all...grrr.

2. Toiletries - This is different than the one bag because any one of your nightly routine tools can go missing and it instantly becomes more important than all the rest. Toothbrush, floss, comb, brush, shampoo, conditioner (my hippy hair really needs it). Just to name a few. If you forget one. it reminds you every night and you end up going to the local woolworths that you were banned from for fighting in order to pick up that one item that you lack. You will pay through the nose for it and it won't quite be the right one because they don't have the one you use.

1. Power - In our personal gadget lives we must have easy and ready access to power. some of our devices like cameras and personal music players require regular charging and if you don't have the cord that you forgot, that device will become a loadstone within 2 days. Other devices need batteries. The batteries you bought in bulk at home, but now you are willing to pay through the nose for in order to make sure you have.

Well, i'm sorry if it isn't up to snuff, but I'm on vacation! leave me be!

(not really, thanks for reading, tell your friends)

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