Why do we vacation? What’s the purpose of it? What are we vacating from? Or to?

When I go to a conference, it’s a place and time of work and complete involvement. When I go on a retreat, it’s a place and time to retreat from the business of work and people and enjoy the downtime. At a conference, there are people speaking at you as if you were there to learn. At a retreat, the only time I expect to hear from someone is when I want to open up and speak or choose to listen.

To some, a vacation is a cross between a busy conference and a restful retreat. They go somewhere and fill their time with action and constant movement, or they go and simply collapse so they can rebuild.

For me, vacations have changed!  It used to be different, but as I age, vacation is about the destination, but not necessarily the constant penciled in events to fill the day so that I can justify the money spent. Nope. A vacation is a quiet place, without the noise of people and stuff, and then taking a few hours per day to see the sites, then retreat to a comfortable place of no demands. No people. No schedule. Just R&R….

Of course, put some little tykes roaming underfoot and vacation takes on new meanings and new demands. Kids don’t R&R, they just Vroom…Vroom….Let’s go!

For the past several weeks we have been on a Stay-cation… that’s where you don’t go anywhere and simply enjoy the sites and sounds of the world you’ve created on the homefront. It often means you sleep in without worrying about deadlines, or stay up later than normal because who cares about tomorrow.

The main thing is to keep the To-Do list hidden! It’s difficult but doable.

Regardless of going, or staying, R&R is necessary. That’s Rest and Relaxation, or Recuperation if you cannot read code! It was in the mid-19th century that religious teachers, doctors, business people, well, just about anybody, realized brain-drain was decreasing their productivity. The cities would “vacate” to the beach where it was cooler. The bread-winner would still commute to and from work on some weird schedule, but there was downtime away from the chores of home life and work.

Recently, my son took a week off to “retreat” to a writers cabin to focus on an upcoming project, and to brain-drain for some real focus time. A few years ago my daughter and her husband borrowed our car and did a 10,000+ mile trip across America and went with no real schedule or destination planned. Not quite a gypsy trip, but pretty close to it…

Over the past 2 weeks of stay-cation, we have been committed to church, caring for animals, doctors and dentists, and other life normal activities, but we have also vegged out and put together 3 puzzles that have been laying in wait for just the right time!

Some enjoy their vacation to a hot spot of beach, mountains, or country. Cruise ships. Tour lines. Out of the country, or at least out of the state. They normally go when everyone else goes. The crowded airports and hotels make it a nightmare for the introverted travelers that we are, so we choose the offseason. Do you go to the beach in the summer? We will go in the winter when no one else is around! Summertime cruise to a place of warmth? We cruise at the end of the season when families have school obligations and it’s a quiet time from the little noise makers!

Next week is a “trip” where we hope to be in a totally quiet place with no demands except to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation, deep in the Rockies…albeit it in Internet range. The phones will be off because of an expensive data plan. The email will still work. My blog will continue but in an abbreviated mode. Bills will still be paid. Groceries bought. Books read… Oh, yes. A new puzzle will be stretched out on the table… Someone is at the house to care for the animals, so we will not worry about anything, but the drive and the time spent away, and dreaming of the future when retirement takes on an image of its own!