I’m about to go on vacation for a couple weeks with my wife and I’m really excited. What is it about vacation that we love so much? Well, duh, but the real question I am getting at is what is it about the rest of our lives, real life, that leaves us so ready to escape it to vacation land?
Perhaps I’m phoning this topic in, but it’s just where my head’s at. Why do I need this escape? What is it that I’m actually trying to distance myself from?
The getting-ready-for-vacation hamster wheel feels like madness to me. I get all worked up, trying to get life and work in order to leave. I have expended all this time and energy preparing my everyday life to run as smoothly as possible so I can go on vacation and get distance from my everyday life.
I spend much of my waking hours stressing myself out, perpetuating this breakneck pace. I’m then surprised when I feel like I need to get away from it and go on vacation.
Put another way, I spend most of my life perfecting the mask of my life, more completely hiding who I really am until I get stressed to the point where I need to get away. I go on vacation to leave it all behind and find myself by piling on as many experiences as I can fit into the itinerary. And I just return home tired, jet lagged, frustrated at how I feel even further from myself.
I’m oversimplifying this and ignoring a lot, but I think you get my point. What’s the sense in all this? Why can’t I just go on vacation for the sake of relaxing and enjoying?
I don’t think vacation needs to be an escape, so much as an extension of the rest of my life. But that would require a lot of me in my real life; taking a vacation in reality requires authenticity. And right now — maybe forever — authenticity seems to be the challenge.