Monday, April 20, 2015

10 Vacations

Vacation.  Just the word sparks the imagination of what you can do with all of your free time.  In business parlance it's called PTO or Personal Time Off.  Whatever it is, it's not working, or shouldn't be.  With any luck you have not arranged yourself into such a unique position that you can not leave without the company calling you constantly.  Here are all the vacations you will take.  Actually some of them are not vacations, but they are days where you aren't working.

- Theme park - Thanks to Walt Disney and his obsession with trains, Disneyland transformed what was previously seedy carnival parks with rides that mostly didn't kill you into theme parks with rides that mostly didn't kill you.  Sure there were theme parks before Disney, but Disney made them a household name.  After some years of refinement, Disney and parks like it are vacation destinations.  The young and young at heart find these destinations terrific and once in a lifetime experiences.  Be careful.  Theme park vacationing will often leave you with a feeling of having been on vacation for weeks and not at all relaxed.  You are burning through cash and calories walking and standing in line making memories.

- Camping - There are two types of people that choose camping as a vacation.  People that love the great outdoors and cheap people.  Very cost effective if you are actually camping.  Kind of spendy if you are camping in a hotel on wheels (Trailer).  When you have a home to go back to, they call it camping.  When you don't, they call it survival.  I'm not a big fan of camping myself.  A normal time spent camping usually has at least a minor burn as well as several bruises.  It seems you have to prepare to camp, then there is the camping, then there is the post camping clean up.  It seems a lot of trouble for the simple life.

- Not working - Having no work or being unemployed is only a vacation when you know what your next employ will be.  Before that, it's more of a strange feeling of displacement.  There you are at home, but you have no enjoyment of not working.  Once you have a job, it is usual that you will be working at some time in the future.  That time between acceptance and your first day on the job is a real VACATION.  You can enjoy the time and get your energy stored for the new job.  Better enjoy it because you won't have paid vacation for a while at your new job.  This also applies for taking comp time for overtime worked.  If you are working overtime and not taking comp time you are doing yourself and your company a disservice.

- Road trip - Everyone knows that a vacation requires you to go somewhere else to see something you've never seen.  The inescapable part of this is the road trip.  Unless of course you can fly there and have the money to do so.  So you hit the road.  One of the great movies on the subject is National Lampoon's Vacation.  A real unexpected diamond, it's full of obvious humor and funny scenes.  Often the road trip is the most memorable of vacations, not for the great times, but for the horrible things that happen.  The bad food, the flat tires, the lost keys, the detours, all of them turn into dear memories.  In my own mind, I often separate the road trip from the rest of the vacation.

- Staycation - Did I say camping was cheap?  Well the Staycation can be even cheaper.  You know what they say about great tourist locales.  They are visited by everyone except the people that live there.  Well the staycation endeavors to remedy that.  You stay at home and visit all of the touristy places that are around your own home.  It's only cheap because the hotel happens to be your home.  Whomever the house work person is will feel the least like it's a vacation, but otherwise, it's something to do that isn't the norm.

- Cruise - In my opinion, the cruise is the best possible vacation you can have.  Your hotel floats with you and you visit cities on the coast of the area you are cruising.  Yes, a cruise is expensive, but most of the time, the expense is more than worth the treatment and the memories.  The room (which you will rarely see) is of course covered.  The Food is covered.  The soft drinks are usually covered.  The entertainment is covered.  It's everything rolled up into one.  There are people there to do everything for you so the only thing you really worry about is relaxing and how soon you can take another one.   This of course changes if you are prone to seasickness.  If you are, make sure you are on a large boat, they don't rock as much.

- Death in the Family - Also not a vacation really, but it requires time off.  It's a family tragedy that requires you to take time off of work.  You will probably cancel your vacation as well as be caught offguard when you get back to work.  It's not a vacation by definition, but it is time off that your job assumes you took vacation.  If the death is close enough in your family, your employer will likely have some kind of bereavement plan that doesn't cut into your vacation time.  Small consolation really if the death is that close.

- Tournament/Convention - I put these together because there is a lot of crossover.  Sport tournaments or events often have the same kind of atmosphere as public conventions like ComicCon or CES.  It's kind of like a theme park without the rides.  You'll hang around with a lot of like minded people and look and do many of the same things.  Where tournaments are concerned, you hope your vacation lasts all week because that means you made it to the finals.  Conventions on the other hand often wrap up early for individuals.  What they both have in common is that they are time sensitive.  You can't put off this vacation for another week.  If you miss it, you won't be taking the time off.  Once you've seen it all, you're done.

- Museum - A specific destination, the Smithsonian comes to mind.  It's the Disneyland of museums.  But there are many more.  They are rarely city specific in that they don't really speak to the city they are in, but they are special draws of tourists to that city.  The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry was one of my favorites.  It takes at least a day to see it and it's great.  There are many other museums around the country that are worth seeing.  Either a part of a road trip or a staycation, the Museum can become a vacation by itself.

- Adventure - You are going somewhere, but you have no plan.  No place specifically to stay, and no real direction.  You
know in a vague way that you are going to go somewhere, but you don't know how long it will take, how much it will cost, or what will really be there.  The most well known adventure vacation is the backpack through Europe.  The trains are good and fairly easy to read.  Any more you will probably get together with other groups that are doing the same thing.  Other adventures start with you going somewhere and just staying there for a while.  You get a local taste of the culture and make local friends.  This outgoing vacation is for people that aren't afraid of meeting the unknown and shaking it's hand.  When the unknown comes to my door, I usually hide behind the funiture and hope the unknown will think i'm not home and move on.  The younger you are and the less attached you are, the more likely an adventure is for you.

Well, it's vacation time again.  I have a bonus picture I couldn't quite place.  It's very important that you understand it's message.

Go and enjoy.

No comments: