I recently went on a ten day trip to the East Coast of the US with my best friend.
Before I had left, nearly everybody that knew about my plans wished me "a relaxing trip" and friendly envied me for the ten days I was about to spend not having to stress about work or worry about everyday life in general.
I was obviously very excited about the upcoming few days and have to admit, that this type of kindly meant jealousy made me appreciate and anticipate my upcoming travel even more. If I had to name one reason, why I cherish traveling as much, it would be the feeling of freedom it gives me. Don‘t you love the moment the plane takes off and you see the space between you and the ground getting bigger and bigger?
While on vacation, everybody generally speaking has the opportunity to do whatever he or she likes, right? Sleeping in; eating new, exciting food; spending the whole day laying around or experiencing new cultures - basically doing all the things we normally don't get to do or don't have the time for. These things are ultimately supposed to result in us being able to return to our everyday lives with our batteries recharged, ready to perform in our old shape again.
As I was sitting in the plane on the way back home, I realized that I somehow did'nt feel as energized and relaxed as I had hoped for. Hundreds of dollars spent and there I was - still feeling quite worn out and tired if not even more than at the beginning of my trip.
This made me ask myself - why is it that, although I had distanced myself from my regular surroundings and I had such an amazing time, my batteries were still screaming "please recharge me!!!" ?
The answer I came up with for myself can be summarized in one simple word - "Worcation". While I don‘t know if some of you have dealt with the same issue before, it has definitely caught up with me on my past travels. Thinking about this issue, I realized that it does not actually start with the arrival at the respective holiday destination but way before, the moment I decide to make my way to the travel section of my local book store. Being an organized person, I always like to inform myself about the place I plan on visiting.
What should I see, what should I bring, where should I eat at? I generally try to answer most of these questions before I head to the airport. Even though this time around I went to a place that I had been to before, NYC, I still made a list in my mind with all of the things I wanted to do on this specific trip.
That way my sightseeing, eating (a lot!) and therefor navigating program launched immediately after my arrival. I didn't want to miss anything and was very eager to taking in as much new experiences as I could get - I wanted to see it ALL. If you have been to NY, you might suspect that seeing "it all" is simply impossible. The city constantly changes and reinvents itself and there are new things worth discovering all the time. After 10 days of crossing one restaurant and one museum after another off my imaginary list, I felt proud and relieved at the same time.
I had made it.
Although I don't regret any of the experiences I made on my trip, my final feelings really struck me. Why did my vacation began to feel like work? Is it a good thing to look back on it and see it as a personal achievement rather than a good, relaxing time? Since as far as I know you can‘t really get promoted for a "good vacation schedule", I guess not.
This is why I want to set myself a goal for my next vacation and share it with you. I guess I somehow hope that once written down, I will be more willing to commit to it and who knows, I might even be able to change some of your Worcation habits along the way.
As a solution to the issue I think that everyone has to find their own "Worcation- balance". Based on my own preferences, I know that I would easily get bored and not be satisfied with my travels, if I completely resigned from doing travel research beforehand. I do, however, also think that it‘s nice to just wander around a new area without a specific destination sometimes. You might be suprised what one can find without taking a look into a travel guide or checking a place's ratings on yelp.
But the most important thing is to take the pressure off ourselves, thinking that we have to see certain sights or eat at certain places, depending where we go. I for instance have never been to the Empire State Building, although this was my third time in New York. Why? Because Top Of The Rock might not be as famous, but offers an even better and less crowded view over Manhattan. Apart from that, the world doesn‘t end if you don‘t see all the places that are apparently worth seeing.
It‘s your own vacation and you can do whatever the hell you want to do!
Ultimately, you might even be able to visit the place again and that way have many new, exciting things to look forward to for the next time.
What kind of vacation type are you? I would be happy if you let me know in the comments on my facebook page (www.facebook.com/vorld.tv), if I was able to help you with your own Worcation Issue or if you are the extreme opposite of my over organized, hyper, travel-self.
I also added a few pictures of my recent travel, at least one more positive outcome of my Worcation Issue...
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