Even I don't always agree with my opinion


The Big $$$ Vacation is Dead

Posted October 22, 2012 by Carter in Lifestyle

– Carter Stack

A change is as good as a rest. I believe the same about vacations.

1) Destination/Itinerary

As a kid my family went camping at provincial parks. It was uncomfortable, inconvenient, usually crowded and often dangerous. But it was memorable because it was different. As a kid switching backyards with the next door neighbour would have been as much of a change and just as interesting to an eight year old. In fact, my family left Toronto to camp at Bass Lake and ended up, without planning, pitching tent beside the family from next door. Real story.

When I say vacation I mean escape from the routine. (I can’t imagine that the people who work at Horsehoe Valley Ski resort go to Whistler for a break.) I’m not talking about going to nature camp and really learning about trees, animals and bugs. Going to a historical fort or an Indian village and discovering national history. That can be educational. I’m also not talking about the pure insanity of a Wonderful World or a Great Wolf Lodge outdoor fun house.  That’s overkill. It’s trading one kind of too damn busy for another kind of too damn busy. You know, the vacation you’re glad to end and get back to work so you can relax. I’m talking about escape from the routine.

An escape vacation doesn’t have to be sitting in front of a hotel pool or on a sunny beach in Cuba. Many people like that kind of thing but remember this is about me, and the ADD after my name is earned, not honourary. You can veg out anywhere. An evening in front of the TV would do in that case.

The vacation propaganda that irks me the most is the kind that was recently run in the Globe and Mail travel section. It repeats the resort information claiming that this place is, “Maui’s last truly Hawaiian Place.”  Here you can learn to husk a coconut, dance the hula and and braid a Ti leaf without ever leaving the resort.” It is accompanied by a photo of a local young lady with T-shirt, shorts and a “grass skirt” showing two eight year old girls, in grass skirts how to hula. Sure, it’s fun for kids but don’t call it authentic Hawaiian. This was the answer to the request for a resort that wasn’t so “cookie-cutter” for tourists. Stop…  just stop.

2) Length

A vacation doesn’t have to be a month, that’s temporary relocation. Most people call a week or two a vacation. We have it in our heads that it takes that long to deprogram from work. Maybe it’s just me but I walk out the door and I’m on vacation. That’s not true. Sometimes I go on vacation while I’m still on the job. I am sure that we all do from time to time. I strongly suspect that this is true of many government employees but that is another story.

It’s all about anticipation and reflection. An escape vacation starts the moment you commit. A coworker of mine paid for a cruise in Europe in January next year. She paid for it in May this year. She has started living this vacation 9 months before she will have left. That’s what I call value for the money. I know she will be reliving it for months after she returns. If you want to get picky I’m sure that works out to about $5 a day for the total length of time she savours the experience. Travel agents should write that up in their brochures.




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