I’m going to rant about a post that I see circulating on Facebook.
If you don’t want to read it, I completely understand. Go in peace and eat some leftover pie.
So, the post features a picture of someone in the middle of a road winding through a lush forest in the Pacific Northwest. The caption, which people everywhere are loving, apparently, says something like this:
Stop planning vacations and make a life that you don’t need a vacation from.
I want to bounce a beach ball off that guy’s face and say, “Oooh, thanks for the brilliant advice! That’s a terrific idea! Just live a life that is so great and hardship-free that you never want to take a break from it! Maybe you should tell everyone in the whole world this great idea. We’re all such idiots! We shouldn’t need vacations from daily living! Life should be curated and authentic (can those words go together unironically?) and so generally perfect that we just do our thing day after day, stopping only to post edited images of our always-satisfying life’s work to the Instagram. This concept is rad!”
“We shouldn’t need beaches, or road trips, or national parks. We shouldn’t want vistas from mountains or a trip to a city to experience art and architecture and energy and something new. And we have only ourselves to blame if we yearn for these things while life ratchets up the crazy. Because it’s our job to create a beautiful life that is always vacation-y. Right on!”
Then maybe I would slow clap.
I am saying all of this as someone who almost never travels because of my children’s disabilities. Travel is hard for a family like mine. But because my family’s dynamic is always challenging, even at home, I especially understand the need to get away, to have a change of scenery and a little bit of space to breathe.
Even if they aren’t fancy (ours aren’t), vacations are important. Breaks are important. Because real people with real lives have actual problems that they can’t micromanage away to create a perma-vacation way of living.