Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Dangers of Vacationing

We all know that today’s lifestyle is hectic and overstressed for most Americans and that vacations are supposed to relieve that pressure, but what if vacations add their own twist to that stress? Su, Alex, and I recently took a whirlwind tour of some National parks in the west. And some of what we found may have backfired on the whole “relax” idea.

Our roadtrip was for 14 days total driving through Roswell, NM on to Flagstaff, AZ for a few days. Then we avoided the wildfires and drove to Madera, CA where we stayed a few days. From there we drove to Moab, UT and then on to Colorado Springs, CO for the last days of our trip. We saw the Sun Spot, NM Grand Canyon, Lowell Observatory, Sunset Volcano, Sequoia National Park, Yosemite, Arches National park, Wolves, Cliff Dwellings, Garden of the Gods, and Pike’s Peak. We called it endurance vacationing. (See “Travel Log” on my facebook page.)

There were times we were so tired and sore that we didn’t want to do anything, but sleep.

This week on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer there was a news piece about successful vacationing. It seems that shorter more frequent trips are more beneficial to the human psyche. It was also suggested that you do not plan your trip to end the day before returning to work, instead come back a day or two earlier and relax at home before returning to the mundane grind from which you were seeking escape. The reporter also found out that vacation where we are up and moving, active, tend to build more positive feelings than holidays where we sit and soak up the sun.

The stress was there but it fades like all stress eventually. What is sticking with me is the feeling that maybe I am in the wrong place (I’ve said that before, but hey she was cute with tattoos). Born and reared in Texas I have a certain pride in my state, but maybe I wasn’t meant for Texas. When I walked among the cloud covered Sequoias, in the cool damp mountains I felt a stillness, a peace, I had not known before. Maybe that is where I was meant to be. I will go back some day hopefully many times and try to recapture that feeling…vacationing can make us long for what we never knew was there.

““Remember what Bilbo used to say: It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.””