Did you know the average American takes less vacation time than the average Japanese? Seriously, it’s well worth a google. Americans take less vacation time or time off in general for the matter than any other developed nation. Everything about our culture is geared toward work and productivity. Even our food is fast, hence fast food. We also have one of the highest depression rates in the world. Although the Japanese have us heavily beat here and in suicides. You’re probably wondering why I’m not sighting sources to back up my statements. Well, because I’ve read them already and if you think I’m wrong Google it and then send it to me. I’ll gladly admit I’m wrong if I am. I’m not.
I am 27 years old, as of last week and I have never taken a vacation. I’ve never gone anywhere remotely exotic. Unless you count Phoenix for a wedding. Which I don’t. Looking back, I honestly believe I could’ve taken a trip to somewhere different and experienced something fun or exciting, but I never did. Why? I’d rationalize it the way I’m sure most people do. I can’t afford it, it’s a bad time to leave work with this important project, my family needs my help right now, and so on. I chose and continue to choose to do what so many have. I sit in my recliner and let my free time waste away in front of me while I stare at another screen watching other people live the lives we wish we had. Well, I damn sure want that to change. Let’s see if I can put my money where my mouth is.
Portland, Maine. A place I have never been and have always thought of as dreary and cold. Let’s see if my opinion changes. I picked it at random and on a whim. Although I did decide upon it because of its small population and because I think it’s a relatively safe town. I’ve been to New York once and D.C. twice, and both times I was utterly out of place, dreadfully nervous and ungodly tired from the city life and noises. Not to mention all of the walking. I know I have a certain degree of anxiety. Crowds make me nervous and cities more so because I’ve never associated them with friendy or safe environments. I want to change my mind to a degree. I want to get out of my comfort zone but more like a toe at a time as opposed to a cannonball.
I might be downright miserable. I will probably be cold the entire time, but by God, we weren’t meant to spend our lives indoors watching other people live the lives we want. It probably wouldn’t be much of an adventure to most, but to me, I feel like it would rank as noteworthy. There’s only one way to find out. As I finish booking my flight and hotel, I can feel myself crammed in a plane with hundreds of people I don’t know and feel my skin crawls at the thought. Cramped spaces and unpredictable people. I hope it all works out. Wish me luck.
A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.
– Earl Wilson