Here's a secret. I like to work holidays, even weekends. I'm not proud, or even boastful. Logically, I know that any work expands to fill the amount of time allotted to it but I can't help myself and honestly, vacations are not something I find comfortable. I'm not alone. Perhaps our concept of vacation time merely needs to be revisited. If completely unplugging for a week -- or heaven forbid two -- feels too drastic, then maybe a new definition of holiday is required.
I'm a list maker. In fact I love making lists. But as time and luck would have it my computer crashed two days before we left on vacation and I couldn't access any of my packing lists. Later when the absence of water shoes resulted in a clam shell injury to one of my daughters' feet, we realized that the first aid kit, newly loaded with all sorts of band-aids, ointments and first-aidy stuff, was left sitting on the kitchen counter.
My husband and I really wanted to take our own five young kids to Walt Disney World. My family had such a great time at Disney, that my kids are still talking about it two months later -- and constantly asking to go back! Here are some tips I will pass on to you, if you are planning a Disney vacation!
Question: Have you ever felt annoyed at a restaurant when your bill arrived with a mandated tip, thus removing your (monetary) ability to comment on the service? If so, that's about how governments act vis-à-vis travel costs for Canadians, this when governments prevent full competition which would reduce prices. For example, consider a trip the average Canadian family might take this holiday season.
As the outdoor temperature starts to fall, many Canadians plan their winter escapes. Most look for someplace warm. Canadians are generous, caring people, and that doesn't change when we go on holiday. But surely we can't cure all a country's problems in the one week we are there! There's nothing we can do to change things for the children, right? Actually, there's a lot we can do.
When I told my co-workers I was excited to work out during my vacation, I was met with shock! But a break from work doesn't need to mean a break from exercise. Understanding workouts as an obligation or as drudgery just sets one up for failure both during our daily lives, and on vacation. We should all "re-frame" how we understand workouts during our everyday life.
"Learning doesn't take a vacation." Okay, like most annoying moms, I said it and this summer, I tried to live it. During a family vacation to London, England, I attempted to make our visit a mixture of the historic and the fun (they're not always interchangeable, no matter what my history buff husband says), hoping that the kids would learn something, even if their summer-vacation-new-knowledge resistance factor was strong.
Every summer starts the same way for me. In May, I say to everyone I know, "This summer is going to be the best! I'm going to camp more often, leave work before the sun goes down, and spend more time with good friends." Before I know it, September is here and the days are shorter. The most surefire way I know to make a grand summer memory is to visit a beach. I'm not alone in this, either. Creating the quintessential beach experience is easy. There are really only six things you need to do.
When my husband and I recently escaped from our four month long home renovations, our teenagers, our two Labrador retrievers and the cold and wet Vancouver weather, we left our 19-year-old son home alone for two weeks. Yes, we had multiple discussions -- he and I, he and his dad and the three of us. Again and again we said: NO PARTIES, remember to take out the garbage, don't spend too much money, look after your sister if she comes home on the weekend, BE GOOD. But still I was nervous...
If you google "P.E.I. weddings," it should not come as a surprise that the Island has carved out a market for even the most discriminating of brides. Although a wedding can be preformed just about anywhere, it is magical on the Island. It is a wonderful way to start life together as a married couple with a few days in paradise before settling in to the regular rhythm and flow of everyday life.
Travel, of course, is about the joy of discovery. Vacation, though, is best spent re-discovering. I was reminded of that fact this week when I returned to New York, where I lived for 10 years. When you travel to places for the first time your time is often spent running from one tourist spot to the next, taking tours, and exercising your brain. Sometimes, however, you just want to feel the comfort that only comes when you know a place well.