Vacation time! Most take them; some simply avoid them for various reasons. Some people take them religiously, often going to the same spot like a favorite beach, a cabin in the mountains or a second home in the country.
Others are like the woman from the mountains of eastern Kentucky who had not been more than three miles from where she was born. When asked why, she said, “I just don’t believe in goin’ places!”
However, many simply cannot afford them.
Since the recession began a few years ago, people have been short on discretionary spending. One of the first cuts in a household budget has been the family vacation. Instead of expensive airline tickets and hotel stays, people have been substituting cheaper alternatives: waiting for special travel deals online, driving to see relatives, having friends and relatives come to see them.
But an increasingly popular and fun vacation is the stay-at-home-vacation. We have all, no doubt shared the feeling that the best part of going away for a vacation is coming home again.
Stay-home-vacations are some of my favorites. Often, we are so busy that we never get the time to enjoy our own homes. There are very few things more worth doing then the creating of a beautiful and comfortable home for ourselves. Far more than we realize, the real enjoyment of our lives revolves around the home in which we live.
A house is not a home. Anyone who has grown up in a chaotic and stress-filled home and finally finds a peace-filled living situation, knows how happy one can be in such a place. The unhappiest person in the world has to be the one who dreads going home.
As a big proponent of stay-home vacations, I am talking about the really well-planned kind — not a work vacation or the “I forgot to plan anything” kind! Short of money? Be imaginative!
People tend to dismiss local sites. Think of the money you can save on airfare, hotel and car rental costs. Think of the stress that you will avoid from cancellations, bad weather and disappointing service.
Another favorite vacation is going alone. It’s scary, but quite interesting. I once spent a month at a house on the beach, in winter, by myself. I only spoke to one person all month, spending hours reading, writing, praying and walking. I did not know if I could do it, but I loved it and I could do it again.
Vacationing alone is not for everyone, even if you could get away with it! The thing about traveling alone is that you end up having to confront your insecurities and fears in spades. You experience all the good and bad things about yourself on a daily basis, but you are also given the opportunity to get to know yourself and become your own friend. You feel more powerful when you learn to face your fears.
Father J. Ronald Knott