Random Thoughts on How I Don’t Dig Staycations

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The alarm went off at 9:30. I turned it off and rolled over. My girlfriend sent me a text twenty minutes later, asking me if I was still sleeping.

“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.

*

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17 thoughts on “Random Thoughts on How I Don’t Dig Staycations

  1. I love to travel, but then again I also don’t mind staying home. Husband and I are extremely frugal and sometimes that forces us to find creative ways to amuse ourselves wherever we’re living at the time.

    Oh and PS, I know you were joking about having your boss approve your travel plans, but I don’ t think you’ll be surprised to hear that our boss at our hagwan insisted on seeing our itineraries whenever we took trips.

    • Hi Waiting! Well, you are with baby, so you’ve got responsibilities and stuff that are more pressing than “I need to buy a book to read.” That’s too funny about your hagwan boss. Yeah, not at all surprising. Probably gave you dirty looks if you went to Japan.

      Peace Waiting! Hope you’re good. : )

    • I’m happy you’re having bonding time with the cat. I agree that a day should be the limit on the staycation. Trust me, you’d start getting on the cat’s nerves after that. : )

  2. I can see both sides of it – travelling or sitting home on ones ass. I can’t begin to say how many times I have been on a vacation and couldn’t wait to get home so I could sit the hell down and relax. The problem with travel for me is that there is often no quality down time, unless you count the actual transit time. If we’re driving somewhere, my wife always gets there refreshed, since she will sleep next to me in the passenger seat with her feet up on the dashboard and a number of pillows supporting her just so. For her to get out of the car for a pee break at the gas station, she has to disassemble her little nest for five minutes or so. If we’re flying, there is no relaxation for someone who is physically large unless you’re in 1st class, and I’ve only been there once.

    Anyway…I’m not living in an exotic land, but I’m not sure I have the energy to visit one just now…maybe next year, or the year after.

    • You know, this is kind of off topic, but I lost my driver’s license over two years ago, and at the time I thought it was going to really suck and what not…but it’s great! I used to love driving – open road and all that – but I have to say that I don’t miss it at all and I absolutely love public transportation. You’re description of driving somewhere and feeling tired while your wife sleeps next to you made me think of that. I have no idea where I’m going with this. Lose your license, 1 Point! It’ll be the best thing you’ve ever done!

  3. Do I have staycationing all wrong? I thought it meant staying home, not in your physical home, but in your hometown? I’m staycationing in Tokyo right now, but not in my tiny room, three hours away in Izu. Love staycationing for the cheap factor. Enjoy Europe!

    • Hi Val! You’re three hours away, girl! That’s not a staycation. I am striking down your usage of the word. If I went to Busan (like four hours from Seoul), I would not be staycationing. But if I stayed in Seoul (as I did), and just went to fun places and then returned to my apartment, that my friend is a staycation. I think that’s how I’m defining it – if you can sleep in your apartment at night, it’s a staycation.

      I want to go to Izu. I want to go to Tokyo. God, get me outtta here!

  4. Um, I pretty much love how you made a total judgment call on a country that you have never been to based off a movie that you didn’t see. You are my favorite ever! Enjoy your remaining days planning your next vacation. Wish I could go backpacking through Europe, lucky!

    • Hello! Yup, that’s how I roll. There was a movie…pretty sure it wasn’t happy…country blows. Like, I’m not sure what country that Brokedown Palace movie was set in, but that country is a nightmare as well. I’m just gonna guess randomly and say it was Bolivia. Damn Bolivia! That place is for the birds!

      Don’t say ‘lucky,’ because I’m spending all of my money basically, so I will return broke and old. You, my fine friend, will have the last laugh. If, you know, you like to laugh at things like the misfortune of others.

  5. Ahhh I understand exactly how you feel! I seem to have this problem when I have a weekend planned with nothing to do. It sounds fantastic in theory, since I seem to constantly stress out, yet it will always inevitably get to 4pm on Saturday and I’ll think to myself “why didn’t I organise something to do??”

    • Yes!!! You’ve hit the nail on the head. It seems fun when it’s abstract – Wow! Two whole days with nothing to do! – but then after, like, half a day it gets super boring and you start to regret everything. I tell you, I’m happy I’m off the staycation now. It turned me into a lazy bum! I didn’t even do the things I normally do, like blog or go to the gym. I just laid in bed and drank and listened to music. Thank God that’s over with!

      Hey, next time you have a dull weekend, you can always swing by Korea, girl! Kimchi!

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