Thursday, October 1, 2015

10 Things you dread on a vacation

Vacations are fantastic.  Of course I don't have to tell you everyone knows this.  They are the chance you have to get away from your daily grind.  Even if you love your job, you need a break from time to time.  Well often we trade one stress for another when we go on vacation.  These are some of the concerns rational and otherwise that we face when we go on an extended vacation.

- Am I breaking some kind of law? - Depending on your vacation you wonder if through ignorance you might be breaking some kind of law.  Most of the time this happens around the boarder or at customs.  They ask questions and you don't think you are doing anything wrong, but you feel like there are wrong answers. Well there are.  Don't even THINK about joking about anything.  There are NO jokes at customs.  This feeling gets worse when the country you are in speaks a different language and you don't.  Everything starts feeling like you are early in some film noir and a jack booted official is asking you for 'papers'.

- My pets are dying! - If you have pets you probably think of them as your furry children.  Well vacations don't usually look too kindly on animals although I HAVE seen 'service' animals that don't do much more than sit there for their owner, just like the non-service animals and get to accompany their owner on vacation.  Unless you can get a doctor to diagnose you with PTSD your pets are left in the care of someone or put in the kennel.  Putting a pet in a kennel is kind of like sending your kids to summer camp.  You hope they are making friends and having fun, but you suspect they are miserable.  If you get some kind of house sitter to take care of your animals, it only serves to take the edge off.  You are still wondering if they are being nice to your little furry friends.  Just remember, when you come home your animals will probably be very excited to have you home/mad at you.  They probably had an O.K. time, but they are happier that you are back home.

- I left X on - Just like being the last one out of the house, but completely puffed up to gargantuan proportions.  There are SO many things to take care of with an extended vacation that by the time you leave, you are certain you are forgetting any number of things.  These things include but are not limited to.  Cancel Mail, Lock doors, Turn off water, turn on Email notification at work indicating you are out.  Of course the classic is the leaving the gas stove on.  If you aren't sure of most of these things, you will find yourself constantly reminded of things you can't verify but probably took care of.  Here is a tip.  As you take care of things you are likely to ulcerate about, take a picture of it with your phone.  Then you will know exactly what you remembered and what you didn't.

- I'm going to get ripped off! (vacation scams) - This gets worse the cheaper you are.  If you are a real skinflint, you will really have a horrible time on your vacation because you have NO idea of the relative value of the goods and services you are getting.  Since you are a tourist, you can safely assume that you are probably paying an out of town surcharge, but besides that, you need to turn the scrooge off and enjoy the vacation.  Understand that taking time in another place is costly, but you are there primarily for a good time.  If you can't bear the thought of paying rack rate for anything, then you might like camping better since you don't have to deal with much of anyone and you bring your own food.  The best thing about camping is it reminds you why you live in a house away from nature.

- I've forgotten my passwords! - This is more an indicator that you really enjoyed your vacation and you didn't do that idiotic 'just check in with work'.  If you are checking in at work, then you work for idiots because they haven't duplicated your work processes so they can let you go on vacation without worrying about if the company can survive. If they are requiring this, you need to look for future employment because either they will burn you out or they will fail so spectacularly due to lack of planning that the company will suddenly look like a scout car wash.  You just get back to work and you realize that your hands no longer know the passwords to your regularly used applications.  You just sit there waiting for your hands to type out the patterns that you would have NEVER guessed you would forget.  Congratulations, you had a good vacation.

- Where are my passports?!? - This is a fun game related to the I left X on above.  This is where you take all of your reservation numbers and documents you need for your travels.  Chief among these are the passports.  Lose these and you can't get replacements easy.  In fact, if you lose them you are in some deep water.  You are constantly feeling for them in your pockets or purse.  Every time they aren't there,  You quickly start off with 'Where are the passports?!?'  This is followed by 'Didn't I give them to you?!'  Usually this closes with 'Oh that's right they are right here.  This also happens if you are carrying large amounts of bags with several people.  You are constantly looking and taking count.  You aren't even sure what you are carrying in them by now, but you know you need all of them.

- Will I be sufficiently entertained? - This one is really stupid.  I am guilty of this one.  I often arrange media players, portable games, and e-books are available to make sure that my every moment is filled with some sort of diversion.  Of course I use exactly 10% of the things I've prepared.  It's a waste of time and space.  Just take your number one device (usually your cellphone) and it will do just fine.  the rest of the stuff is probably just a some kind of traveling work out.

- Criminals are at my unprotected door! - This is like leaving stuff on, but it's worse.  Sure you've locked your door, but you don't know if someone is scouting out your house for theft.  The longer you are away, the better the likely-hood that you are going to be robbed.  Of course where you live has a lot to do with it, but for the most part your chances of being robbed are not very high.  One way to help that is to not advertise your vacation on social media before you embark.  Your friends might not rob you, but their friends might.

- I'm going to look stupid - Tourists by definition look stupid.  Don't worry.  Nobody expects you to look like a local and honestly why would you want to? Sure you are worried about thieves picking you out, but what can you do about it?  Nothing.  Don't be a rube, ask for instructions if you find yourself lacking direction, you'll save time and grief.

- No internet connection? - Some people are afraid of not being connected while they travel.  When cavemen first started using facebook, they weren't as attached to it and found they could leave it relatively easily.  As history progressed and other social media websites became prevalent it became harder and harder to leave the internet alone.  Just remember the war of 1812 When the British tried to disconnect the American troops from their Dial up connections.  Never have American's fought so valiantly.  Sheesh.

None of these things are worth not going on a vacation.  Get your plan together and GO.  Don't sit there and not go because you are a home body.  Have an adventure once in a while, it's something to talk about when you are at home.

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