"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." -Socrates

Friday, January 14, 2011

Vacation Time

“Where are you folks from?” my wife asked the family who had reached the end of the hike just minutes after us.

“We’re from Vancouver, Washington. How about you?” the woman replied.

“We’re from Kihei, but we’re initially from Cincinnati, Ohio. It’s funny, we’ve lived here for nearly five years and have never taken this hike. It’s beautiful up here!” my wife said as we gazed into a valley of the West Maui Mountains.

“We do the same thing”, the woman responded. “I can’t tell you the last time we’ve been to Mount St. Helens, and there are so many trails we’ve never bothered taking back home. I guess that’s just the way it is.”

It’s interesting how when there is limited time in a foreign place we want to do as much as we can. Why don’t we always act this way? Why do we neglect the opportunities for adventure at home, yet take advantage of every minute while on vacation?

There are many theories I have to this question. For one, time at home is related to work, chores, bills, etc., so we relate our place of residence with these things and not adventure/fun. Another is that we feel we could always do the things at home; like time is unlimited. Why do something unique when you always have the opportunity? I have another interesting theory on why we take advantage of every waking moment while away yet stay pleasantly engulfed in our daily routine at the place we call home. I believe when we are away, away from everything we’ve ever known, mainly pertaining to those we know, we have the opportunity to be someone else; someone we’d prefer to be. In a place where everyone is a stranger, we no longer feel imprisoned by the image we give to those we work with, visit with, and have business with. We’re able to separate from the responsibility of upholding whatever images others have of us.

But it’s most likely a combination of things with many variables. Plus I would have to imagine that each individual would treat vacation and travel differently. Some would prefer to visit the same place over and over again, while others would opt to constantly spend their time on holiday someplace different. What affects this? Why do some prefer changes, while others prefer the tranquility of expectancy?

Regardless of all else, I believe that very few of us truly view life as irreplaceable, and I would argue that even those who state they understand the permanency of their years on Earth can’t fully grasp the concept. How can you believe in death when no living person has ever experienced it themselves? Death is incomprehensible, but vacation ending is a reality most everyone has experienced. Ironically, only one is inevitable.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting read. It's funny how many people can relate to this message. The last place we think to have an enjoyable or adventurous experience is in our own area of residence. How many times have we heard someone say "I need to get away" - usually meaning far away.