Thursday, May 02, 2013

Summer Staycation is almost here

Staycation has become a new buzz word since the economy crashed. It means
a period in which an individual or family stays home and participates in leisure activities within driving distance, sleeping in their own beds at night. They might make day trips to
local tourist sites, swimming venues, or engage in fun activities such as horseback riding, paintball, hiking or visiting museums. Most of the time it involves dining out more frequently than usual. Some people may include one or two overnight visits at relatives, friends or a longer trip. Staycations achieved popularity in the US during the financial crisis of 2007–2010.
My summers at home from school are my staycation. At this time of year, the annual stress reaches its maximum. All the kids are tired. All the staff are tired. We're tired of the kids. The staff is tired of each other.

As with any close-knit group working many hours alongside each other every day, when you get tired you bruise easier. Little irritants become magnified. Feelings become hurt at the drop of a hat. It doesn't mean we don't love each other, we do. It just means we're tired.

Many teachers I know go away on vacation right away after school ends. The last day for kids is right before Memorial Day and teachers have a couple of days of post-planning after that. Then they flee to the beach. Here in north Georgia, the beach is far away. Beach means Jekyll Island, Myrtle Beach SC or the panhandle of Florida. All these are 4-6 hours' drive.

But as anyone knows, once you drive into the hotel or cottage parking lot and you see the gulls wheeling, smell the tangy air and hear the surf, and see that azure blue beckoning you, it is a balm- and worth the hassle of packing and getting there.

As much as I love the beach, I like staycations better.

I have traveled and I LOVED it. I would not trade anything for the sight of Paris boulevards at night, of the haunting Colosseum, the snow-capped volcanoes of the Andes, the Amazon jungle, Mediterranean fishermen on the blue sea hauling nets, the cold Atlantic under glowing Northern Lights...

But I'm older now, I've been there and done that, and I trade the thrill of new sights for the warm slippers of the familiar.

The familiar and comfortable has its place too. I love napping with my kitties on my big bed by the window. I enjoy making a cool smoothie and sipping it topped with fresh blackberries while strolling the yard. I like reading a book in the sun on the patio under swooping birds. I like going to my home church, and not a different church on vacation.

If I was so inclined, there is plenty to do in this area, not the least of which is a beautiful State Park 3 miles down the road, with a flowing river, trails, a charming covered bridge, and more. The Farmer's Market with live music is one mile away from me every Saturday. There's lots to do in the nearby city of Athens.

Oftentimes we might overlook the nearby because it doesn't seem glamorous. You would be surprised at how many native New Yorkers I talk to who have never visited the Empire State building. Romans who never look at the Colosseum. French who drive by the Eiffel Tower without looking up and never entering the Louvre.

My staycation will arrive soon and I invite it to stay for a while. I'm at the point in life where traveling was good, but staying is better.

1 comment:

Kem said...

I too have reached the age where staying home is better than travel. I do however pray that all of us who love the Lord will soon be traveling to our true home.