Staycations have become the most popular alternative to vacation travelling. This is most likely due to the fact that staying at home for the holidays is cheaper, safer and easier (Richards, Temptations of Travelling). It only stands to reason that back-porch vacations and poolside holidays are becoming the new trend for middle-class Americans, especially in light of the recent economic crisis. However, there are some specific reasons why travelling will remain a better alternative, despite the cost issues and any possible inconveniences.
Going on a journey involves experiencing your own senses: seeing, touching, hearing and smelling the new, unusual and unique atmosphere of places you visit while on vacation. If someone described to you what a new ice-cream flavor tastes like using a hundred words, but instead you could choose to simply try it yourself, would you have preferred the description or the experience of your own? It is the same with travelling. Unlike watching the Discovery Channel or National Geographic, reading about exotic places on somebody’s blog and watching even the most colorful and fun podcasts about travelling, actually visiting the place is ten times more powerful of an experience. In addition, you get to form your own opinion about what you see instead of just watching it through the eyes of a documentary director or through the lens of a photographer.
Leaving to involve yourself in an adventure is arguably the best source of inspiration one could think of. Even if you have been to the chosen location for travel a few times already, the next time you visit it the impressions you receive can be different, have a new spice or a fresh hint, since the weather, your mood and the people you come across will be distinctive, and your impression of the place can change radically or become fuller and more holistic. To me, travelling brings new discoveries, whether they are revelations of environments or discoveries within myself. In this regard, travelling can be the best cure for depression, the feeling of inner perplexity and fears for what the future may bring and where you are heading. Sometimes, a vacation to a place you have never been before or know little about can do more than just broaden your knowledge and inspire new emotions. It can change your whole life perspective and cause you to revise your life values (Howards, Destination Joy). It is no wonder that many people return from vacations as completely new persons and never come back to their old lifestyles.
Travelling means meeting new people. Unlike staycations that normally revolve around the same group of people you are already on good terms with, travelling brings together at times absolutely different people, from various cultures and backgrounds. Travelling is a chance to get to know others better and to learn to adjust to new traditions and other peoples’ lifestyle (Opus, The Social Road). While on the road, you can meet someone you would never get a chance to bump into if you stayed within your comfort zone, at home or with a group of people you have known for ages. Travelling is a chance to make new friends and change the cycle of the everyday routine that you have gotten trapped in over the years.
There is a place for discussion of whether travelling is worth the money you will spend on it or is it simply better to save up, spend your vacation at home and stay within your comfort zone. Travelling may seem like a challenge at times – it needs a great deal of planning, a decent budget, and a certain enthusiasm and willingness to challenge yourself. But those who have the courage to follow their dreams and overcome obstacles will find a way to pursue a hobby they like. And if you feel that overwhelming desire to see a place far away, do not let the fears take over your dream. Having once traveled, you will most likely not ask yourself whether to spend your vacation at home or travel – staycations will simply not be an option.
1. Richards, Helen. Temptations of Travelling (2008). The Cincinnati Revelry.
2. Howards, Faiz. Destination Joy (2007). Lenguin Press.
3. Opus, Samuel. The Social Road (2012). The South Orange Country Observer.
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