In the past month, how many times have you savored your morning cup of coffee at home, eaten lunch in your own kitchen, spent time exploring your own city, or asked people (face-to-face) “How are you doing?” instead of rushing to send a quick “Hope all is well!” text before scrambling to finish your next “To-Do”?
You’re not alone in your answer(s). I can promise you that.
Where bigger is better, and more is more; leave it to America to glamorize “busy.”
Rushing has become synonymous with successful and #wanderlust has become the solution to our problems.
We’ve somehow found ourselves living our lives on overdrive, while constantly wishing to escape them.
We swoon over destination-accounts on social media and believe “If I could just be there…” that all would be right in the world again.
Maybe so. But maybe not.
I’m no jet-setter or travel expert, but I’ve been to my fair share of places. I really love getting away. Like seriously. I say this because the last thing I’m trying to do is advocate against the “vacation.” What I am doing is rallying for the “staycation.”
Around this time last year, my boyfriend and I were burnt-out, over-worked, creatively stifled, arguably broke, and just. needing. a. break. We compared schedules, put in a request, and decided that for 5 days (plus the weekend), we were taking off and…staying in town.
Let me just tell you, it was life-giving. Here’s 7 reasons why:
You don’t have to pack your bags.
- No messing with 3 oz. containers, perusing Pinterest for the best vacay-attire, getting up at 4am for a crack-of-dawn flight, or saying your prayers when they go to weigh your luggage (please be under 50 lbs, please be under 50 lbs).
You actually have time to sit in places like coffee shops with all the people you’ve been trying to connect with and keep saying to them, “Actually, how about next week?“
- As a self-described “goal-getter” (a.k.a “type-A”), it’s not hard for me to get absorbed into task, task, task. But there’s this big-deal thing called “people” and despite what our culture of achievement tells us, people are one of our greatest callings. There are people that have been intentionally placed in your midst for a reason. Be available enough to discover why.
You get to experience R&R without then catching a red-eye and wondering, “Can I get a post-vacay-vacay?“
- Also known as the vacation “hang-over” or “post-party blues”, where returning to daily life suddenly feels even more rushed than it was before. With the stay-cation it’s all go to sleep in your own bed, wake up in your own bed. Heck, you can finally have breakfast in your own dag-on bed.
You save money.
- Um, hi, are you a millennial? Gen Z? (Yea. ‘Nuff said.)
You can finally say, “I went to that hip new restaurant/bar/concert venue, and wow, it was SO good.” (#localsonly)
- I don’t care what anyone says, there is nothing like exploring your own city, knowing it like the back of your hand, being aware of its developments, and actually knowing how to entertain guests when they visit you, because well, you’ve done it yourself.
- Example: My hometown recently created a cool new area called the “Vibe District” and let me just say, it took me far too long to actually ‘vibe’ with it. And now? I’m low-key like the Marketing Director. (Wink.)
You get out of your ruts and daily routines to experience a little thing called “freshness” from within the walls of your own home.
- Think about it: setting up a new space for quiet time, organizing your life, working on that passion project – it’s all available to you.
You can work out where you already have a membership.
- If you’re already hitting your gym 4-5+ times/week, kudos all around. But let’s pretend life has gotten the best of you and working out has become low, low, low on the list of priorities. A staycation allows you to return to a place where you’re already shelling out hard-earned cash each month to be a member of. Not to mention, you can hit the great outdoors in your own backyard. Who knows, you might actually shape up on your time off!
The list goes on but the point is this: Free time is a luxury. A necessary one. Schedule it. Make it happen. Know that “freedom” just might be closer than you think.
Lift your gaze from being entrenched by the thick of your day-to-day and realize geography doesn’t solve all your problems immediately. I believe mobility is a blessing, and often times a necessity. Yet it’s not something that should create such a deep yearning within us that it causes us to constantly want to escape the here and now.
At the end of the day, be where your feet are. Love the ones you’re with. Live your life, in your context, in your lane, at your pace. Alleviate the runaway feelings from your thinking and watch the dire feelings of “I need to get away” evolve into a gratuitous, “It’s so good to be home.“
also posted on Odyssey Media