What is a vacation?

Turn off your electronics, go outside, take a deep breath in, close your eyes, and take a break. Enjoy your tranquil getaway behind your eyelids.

Some of the first vacations in the 19th century were for the benefit to a person’s health. A period of rest or a change of clime would aid in healing and recovery. Today we take vacations for various reasons; adventure, curiosity, life events, fun, whimsy, to travel, to rebel against the Puritanical aspects of the modern work ethic, or just to break up the norm. Do we need a formalized vacation to satisfy those needs?

Many doctors recommend regular travel and leisurely vacations, often for mental health as well as physical rest. Vacations today can mean to stay at home and not work, or to travel abroad. Many people choose to stay “plugged in” to their jobs or even telecommute on vacation. The psychological impacts of this choice has yet to be understood.

With the rising tide of sedentary lifestyles, there are many more “active” vacation options today, to give people thrills and keep their bodies moving. Sometimes one’s work gets in the way of the full variety of movements that we need to feel good. There’s a new Piloxing class on Mondays that would be a novel experience for me and a vacation from the norm. Yogis could jump into a tango class, and vise versa. As cliché as it sounds, variety might just be the spice of life.

Whether you’re taking a vacation from the everyday, or sailing around the world, there are novel experiences we can glean from all parts of life. Enjoy all of your vacations, large and small!

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