The Saratoga Sun -

The staycation

 

December 30, 2020



I am coming off my vacation which started just before the Christmas holidays.

It was my first vacation in almost four years. I did have time off about two years back, but that was moving my folk’s belongings from Maine to Colorado. My sister and I drove a 26 foot truck across the country in four days.

Getting out to where they lived in Maine took two days by plane and car, and driving back in the truck to Colorado used up most of my time off. A great road trip with my sis, but it was definitely not a vacation.

Then, just because the past two years have been hectic at the paper, it took this point in time to get around to having my vacation.

It is no secret I lived in several regions of the world. I traveled a lot to different countries because my visa usually required me to leave every two months. In my early years living in Asia, I took a lot of baby vacations to mostly tropical climes. I got to see incredible beaches and jungle scenery with abundant waterfalls, lakes and wildlife.

It was excellent.

When I worked for different global liquor companies, I traveled a lot to other localities too. Sometimes for only a couple days but, often enough, longer. I was sent to spots that had great nightlife or distilleries.

Sometimes both.

Louisville, Kentucky stands out as one of my favorite places in the world, for both those reasons.

One company I worked for was based in southern Spain and I found myself in Seville a few times a year. Seville is a fantastic city with orange trees shading the streets and its magnificent architecture is everywhere to see.

When I went to Mexico, I saw amazing little villages and towns scattered throughout the regions that produce tequila. I can remember thinking it was like being on a working vacation. One that was filled with me HAVING to taste different tequilas from various distilleries.

When I decided to take this vacation, I wanted to do something really special.

My goal was to stay at home and work on house projects that have fallen by the wayside because I never seem to have time. I also wanted to see my stepfather, if possible, at his nursing home in Ft. Collins.

The first day, eh…, some things got done but I could have been more diligent on following through on tasks I had planned that day. I justified slacking off due to it being my first day. Deep cleaning my kitchen just wasn’t going to make me feel like I was off.

Honestly, it usually takes me a day to realize I am free to do what I want whenever I take a vacation, whether it is Las Vegas, Bangkok, or Sydney.

I knew it would probably test me to get it through my head I could do anything I wanted since I was still home.

When I was talking to somebody a couple days before my holiday started I was told, I was having a ‘staycation’.

Never heard that before.

I have since learned this is a common term.

Common or not, it is actually the first time in my life I stayed home for a vacation.

It was awesome.

There was no time schedule or deadline for me to accomplish anything in particular, although I had created a wish list of projects I hoped to get done.

Sure, the first couple days I had to remind myself I didn’t have to be out of bed at any given time in the morning.

My second day, I picked up a big fat book on American history. It felt almost decadent to let an hour or two pass each day, reading this book I got long ago.

It was great.

Some of my days had me walk around my yard and gardens that were hibernating. In all my years of living at my home, I had never done this in winter. It was a new adventure as I looked at all my gardens in their sleeping state. There was a new appreciation for winter in Wyoming and what it does.

That was what it was like on this staycation. Finding appreciation for my home and what it offered. The cleaning and sorting through odds and ends had me discover many items I forgot I owned.

I did get down to Ft. Collins for a day to see my stepfather. I could only talk to him through a window and the meeting lasted a short 10 minutes. I was on the outside of the building and it was hard to communicate well, but I haven’t seen him since March.

Just seeing his green eyes sparkle as we talked made the trip worth it.

As my holiday wound down, I appreciated this was one of my most enjoyable times off I ever had.

We all have different lives, so I get when getting time off a staycation is not for everyone.

I am just glad to discover it can be right for me.

It made me realize if a staycation was this beneficial in the winter time, which is my least favorite time of year, I can’t wait to do one in the other seasons.

 

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