When we leave for vacation it seems that we leave the stressful worries behind us in favor of adventure, relaxation and something a little bit different. But if you really look at what you do on vacation it's often as much about the things you're not doing as what you are and a lot of it is stuff you could be doing (and not doing) at home.
When you're staying in a hotel or at a friends house a lot of mundane activities are automatically cut from your schedule, this can leave open wide swaths of time to indulge in adventure, napping or quality time with friends. But sometimes it's hard to get away-- either it gets too expensive or there's just not enough time, so you're stuck at home. It doesn't mean you can't still be on vacation:
1. Turn Your Phone Off. Don't be reachable. Don't worry about the details you're leaving behind. Don't answer the phone. (And seriously, see if you can stay offline, it's hard and might be impossible but maybe limit the time to evenings or a morning email check).
2. No Housework. Don't do that extra load of laundry. Don't run the dishwasher. Just don't. When we're at home it's too easy to fill the time with extra chores instead of chasing adventure or trying something new. If you need a clean place to relax, splurge on a housecleaner to come in and get the place sparkling so that you can let it go.
3. Do Something New. Now that you aren't answering the phone or doing chores you've got a lot more time on your hands to do fun stuff. Look around and do something you've been meaning to do for a while. Have you checked out the Observatory lately? What about Venice, have you gone to the beach? Are there shops you've been bookmarking online but haven't had the time to go and check out? Are there shops in your own neighborhood that you are curious about? Make an afternoon of it and go check out something you haven't seen.
4. Read a Magazine. One of the best parts about taking a flight somewhere is getting to indulge in fluffy magazines we wouldn't normally have time for. Indulge now, on your couch or sitting on a chair on the balcony. Lose yourself for an hour or two. Savor it. Relax.
5. Don't forget friends! Let people know that you're going on 'vacation' and see who wants to join in for a mimosa brunch or an afternoon at the Getty. You might not be taking a road trip to Austin, but you might go to Alhambra for Vietnamese food and foot massages, and it's always more fun with a companion. This is also an awesome time to invite people over. Since you aren't working you've got time to dedicate to learning to cook something new and hanging out with friends. No early rising to get in the way of a leisurely evening. And oftentimes time spent with good friends and family can be rejuvinating and inspiring.
6. Watch Movies and Read Books. Reading a good book from start to finish is a favorite vacation activity. Without the demands of our regular schedule we can indulge in reading as soon as we wake up and stop whenever we feel like it. Find your favorite spot in the house and dive in. One of Abby's favorite indulgences is watching movies in the morning. On vacation you have permission to do things however you'd like. Netflix finally gets used in our house when we're on vacation.
7. Go Outside. Spend time in your backyard, your balcony or your pool. We have a pool in our complex that we never ever use...until this past weekend when we made a day of it and it felt like a mini vacation. Likewise eating outside, having a bbq and just lollygagging around the garden are excellent ways to break the routine and feel like you're on vacation.
How many people are vacationing at home this year? We've got plans for it since we won't have enough time to really get away but are in need of some serious downtime. We've already started a list of fun things we've been meaning to get to (but we've been careful to nix any ideas of getting projects done, we need some serious relaxation and not another to do!).
small>(Image: Wolfgang Staub)