Sunday, March 20, 2011


My instructions were clear - take unused vacation before the end of March. I was faced with a quandary. Since I am focussing my travel this year on a family get-away, the budget is tapped. My usual scene since I moved to the Kootenays 16 years ago, is spending vacation time away from here, travelling, on the road. I couldn't even fathom taking vacation so close to home. Actually, at home. When I explained it to my son, he said, "Staycation." That sounded intriguing, more fanciful than staying at home.

When I Googled staycation, at the top of the list was Wikipedia. What I learned was that the idea came into vogue between 2007 and 2010 during the financial crisis. In Britain, they became popular in 2009; there it is called a stoliday. There is even a self-help guide book.

With more research, I found strong suggestions that staycations be organized in a way that gets one out of the routine, that they get a break from their regular life. This means paying all the bills and doing all the chores that you would if you went away. To minimize the chores, it was suggested that staycationers eat out. No dishes. Unless of course, you think of cooking as a vacation.

When I told my friends and family, they were excited on my behalf and had lots of ideas of how to spend my time. Do things that you wouldn't normally do. Go to the museum. Go to the hot springs, a definite bonus for someone who doesn't live near the hot springs. This last idea is not on the top of my list. A shame really. I don't particularly like being wet.

An artist's date was another suggestion. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way, developed this tool for creative inspiration. The artist's date is a weekly commitment to nurturing one's creative unconscious. It is often in the form of an excursion - in nature, to an artists' supply store, etc.

An idea I found on the World Wide Web is to do a movie marathon, focussing on travel movies. I am not sure about the notion of conjuring up envy but then there might be getting new ideas for future travels.

Today is Day 2 (of 10) of my staycation. I have caught some snippets of movies on television but in the spirit of staycations in general, I am trying to stay away from that time-eater. This evening, Return of the Jedi was featured. I would consider that a travel movie, wouldn't you?

If you have any other ideas of how to spend my vacation, I could use a little help. This is all new to me.

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