Self-sabotage vacations and the vacation theory that works for us | Newspaper: David’s Dabblings

Why do people seemingly love to self-sabotage ourselves? I do when it comes to vacations.

What do I mean by that? For those that do not have kids and may not know, area schools were out this week and plenty of people in the tri-county area went on vacations.

I self-sabotage our vacations at least in a trivial way. We look forward to them a month in advance, forgetting there is a month of time we can still create fun times and memories even while we are working 40-hour-a-week (and in some cases more) work weeks. We live our lives for this one magical week, which, we mentally build up in our minds as being this crazy huge block of time of entertainment, by saying it’s ‘only a month away,’ when in reality the time until the vacation is four times longer than the vacation itself. In some ways, it just seems like a silly thing to do.

And then when the vacation starts, what do I find myself doing on the first day? I’m thinking already in my head, ‘I still have five days left’ understanding while that’s a decent amount of time, the vacation is going to be over before we know it. And as though it’s almost a test to see if that thought process is true, I probably spend a half-hour each day dwelling on such idiotic depressing thoughts. Why do we do these things?

There are plenty of ways to vacation. Some people love going to different places all around the globe so they can see different places. We are pretty much the opposite. Many of our vacations are attending the same places we traditionally visit. In the spring, that’s usually a state park in Kentucky near where that state borders with Virginia and Tennessee located in the Cumberland Gap. In fact, one of our trails we frequent takes you to a spot on a mountain (really, these are just large hills more than mountains) where you can lie on a spot and be in all three states at the same time.

We go there consistently for a few reasons. First, going to new places can be fun, but it’s also somewhat stressful because it’s hard to plan out your itinerary when you are in a place you’ve never been. One vacation, we took a train to St. Louis. Stupidly thinking the train station had to be located near a place we could get a cab and find a place to stay, we ended up in an area that was more of a parking lot for the Major League Ballpark in St. Louis, which at the time was hosting a baseball game when we got there. We didn’t find any taxi access and I don’t think we even had cell phones at the time (this was more than 20 years ago). Therefore, what did we end up doing – we walked around St. Louis with our bags looking for a motel. It’s a silly fun story now (the difference between trajedy and comedy is usually time), but it was pretty stressful then.

So on the other side of that, if you go to a place you consistently travel to, it’s a vacation spot you know a lot of the fun stuff to do and it takes that stress out. It also becomes a vacation almost to a second home without the responsibilities of maybe owning a second home or cottage. And while we may do a lot of the same things, we’ve hardly tapped into all of the paths to walk in the area (we primarily walk trails on vacations). So each time, we usually find a new trail to check out. There’s something soothing about being in a place you know well enough to feel like home, yet it’s still very much a vacation. Maybe one day 20 years from now we’ll regret not diversifying our vacations, but I doubt it.

But we are kind of starting to do that as well. Our thoughts are to start diversifying in the state we don’t vacation in very often that is a damn fine state to check out – our home state of Michigan. During the 2020 summer while we were deep in the pandemic, we took a vacation to the UP and loved it. Gosh, there’s so much to do up there, you can go in 20 different directions from a base camp (maybe a motel room you are renting) and do something different every day. One day we started by putting our feet in Lake Superior and later that same day we were in Lake Michigan. We had a blast. So, now, it’s likely our plans will always include a vacation somewhere in Michigan, and probably focusing more on the UP.

So that’s us. We aren’t huge thrill seekers, unless we spot a bear in the woods. We don’t have to see the Eifel Tower when looking down a mountain at the nature around us is usually probably more impressive in our minds. And, really, we don’t even like the normal tourist trap destinations. Who considers Toledo a prime vacation hotspot besides us?

Those are some of our theories to a successful vacation, and it works for us.

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