“No,” I thought after reading it, “I’m merely enjoying the sensation of being physically stationary.”
Perhaps it was a bit odd that I’d been laying face down on the bed, motionless, for the last twenty minutes, just thinking. My vacation had started five days earlier, and after spending the first four days on an island, I was back in my apartment, lying on my face.
On a regular weekday, I would’ve gotten out of bed hours ago. I started to wonder if I was lying in bed because I liked it, or if it was because I had nothing else to do. The way I felt about my upcoming day was the same way I’d feel if someone were to ask me what I wanted for dinner. “Hey, what do you want for dinner?” Um, I dunno. Can you give me some choices? If not, I don’t know where to begin. I’d probably end up regretting whatever I went with, just because I’d feel like there was some better option out there floating around in space that I didn’t think of.
“Jeez,” I’d think, “I could’ve chosen anything, and I went with mac and cheese? I somehow think I let myself down.”
My whole life, I’ve been vehemently against the idea of a ‘staycation.’ People work so hard, they should really maximize their time off and do something with it. Maybe it would make more sense if a person has a kid or something. Then the person can take the kid to Chuck E Cheese or do something else to establish favoritism over his/her spouse, and I guess that’s nice. People tend to like spending time with their kids and at least it’s an excuse to go to Chuck E Cheese (adulthood severely lacks animatronics).
But being a 34 year old man, having a staycation feels a lot like reverting into a 16 year old version of myself. I sleep a lot, and when I’m awake I feel stuck and start drinking by myself while either watching baseball or listening to rap music. This makes me think that there should be rules for having a staycation. For instance, I should have to submit daily plans to my boss before the vacation is approved. I mean, I had to make plans for my sub at school…I should have to make plans for my own personal life as well.
“Can I see your vacation plans?” my boss would ask. I’d hand her a bunch of papers. “Hmm,” she’d say, reading them over. “Facebook chat, eat McDonald’s, watch porn…this is a waste of time…I can’t approve this.”
It would be for my own benefit. When the only good you’re doing with your life is at work, a vacation can be seriously detrimental.
Having a staycation is okay, I think, because I’ll be backpacking around Europe come September, and I need to save money for that. I need to plan. Today I wrote notes for what I would do on the first few days of my Eurotrip.
“This is strange,” I thought. “I’ve taken a vacation not with the aims of actually going on vacation, but instead to plan another, later, vacation.”
That seemed kind of like going to the grocery store just to make a grocery list. Smart, in a totally moronic way.
With four days left in the staycation, I’m already stir crazy and wanting to go someplace. “What would be the worst place to go on vacation?” I asked myself. “Probably Wyoming? Wisconsin? Maybe the Middle East somewhere?” Those places weren’t really conceivable, though, since I live in Asia. After some more thought, I decided the worst place I could realistically go on vacation would be Burma, now Myanmar.
“What’s in Myanmar that’s better than my apartment?” I wondered. “Nothing. It would be all jungle and confusion. I saw that movie Beyond Rangoon. Myanmar is hell. Actually, I didn’t see that movie. But it looked hellish from the poster art.”
Then I sighed. I longed to be in Myanmar.
I think people who enjoy staycations must be really happy with their lives. Travel is something I love; saying that, I’m fully aware that someone could psychoanalyze me and say that I like to leave and bounce around from place to place because I’m running away from something. I have no home. Personally, I like it that way, but I suppose that lifestyle isn’t for everyone. There must be people in this world who get excited over the idea of staying in their house for a whole week straight. That could be a test, meant to measure life satisfaction in some way.
“Mr. Panara,” my shrink might say, “how long could you stay in the area around your apartment before you went insane?”
“Um,” I’d answer, “it depends. Do you mean slightly erratic or completely bat shit crazy?”
“Bat shit, Mr. Panara.”
“In that case, I would say three days.”
Others might say ten years. Twenty years. A lifetime. Who knows? There is a joy that comes with being physically stagnant. Stationary. I suppose it’s comforting, just as it’s pleasant to have mac and cheese for dinner. To enjoy the simple things that one has is a commendable peace of mind.
But that’s for other folks. The way I figure it, I won’t get any vacations when I’m dead, so it would be a shame not to take advantage of them now. I’m not sure where people go after they die, but I’m pretty positive it isn’t Myanmar.