Monday, March 9, 2015

Staycations are Pointless!

This post is #6 in a #17 post series about workcations. The learn more about workcations and see the full eBook, check out Workcation. Have the best life now! on Amazon. It's free to borrow, if you have a Kindle device or Amazon Prime. 

Don’t hate the title, before you read the explanation.

“Staycation” involves staying at home during your pay vacation time and enjoying leisure activities within driving distance, while sleeping at home during the night. The term achieved popularity during the subprime financial crisis of 2008. During this time period, American unemployment increased from 5% at pre-recession levels to over 10% by late 2009. Home prices plunged over 30% in a three-year period, causing millions of Americans to be underwater on their home or own more than the house was worth.  Additionally, the S&P 500 index declined over 57% from its peak in October 2007. As more Americans lost their jobs and saw their net worth decline, more and more became afraid of losing their jobs or being unable to pay for their mortgage.

During the 2008 financial crisis, more and more Americans were afraid to take regular vacations, because they didn’t want to show any sign of being not dedicated to their jobs. Additionally, some workers received reduced pay or furloughs, restricting the amount of disposable cash to enjoy a vacation away from home or suddenly being forced to stay at home for period of 1-2 weeks without pay. As these cutbacks trends magnified during the financial crisis, more and more Americans started taking staycations. The term was originally coined prior to the recession in 2005 by Canadian comedian Brent Butt. It took a few years to gain traction, but staycation became widely used in in summer 2008 as may families reduced their travel budgets due to lack of job opportunities, reduced pay, and high gas prices. 

The reason staycations are pointless is that it shouldn’t take reduced pay and lower stock and home prices to wake up your senses and desire to explore your local surroundings. You should already be exploring your local surroundings. According to The Great American Staycation, “a staycation is the most successful when you have a positive attitude and willingness to adjust the traditional notion of what a vacation is.” The attitude to accept a staycation was BOTH positive and negative. Americans were slapped in the face in 2008 and forced to realize spending time at a local park or visiting a local beach was the best option for their “vacation time,” as they had limited money to explore other options. The individuals how had a positive attitude were more accepting of the situation and probably had a more enjoyable time on their staycation. Studies also found that staycationers were tempted to go to work for part of the time or stay plugged into their work by checking email. The point of taking vacation time is to unplug and connect with yourself. As you connect with yourself, you grow and your ability to enjoy the essence of life expands.

The more we realize that unplugging and enjoying our surroundings enhances our lives, the more we feel compelled to do it regularly. We don’t need a dedicated “staycation” or “vacation” time to feel compelled to enjoy the world around us. We need the ability to enjoy life has it happens. We need the ability to take a break in our daily lives to enjoy our surroundings and either connect with our self or our loved ones. The ability to explore our world significantly increases as we realize that we have the power to choose were we spend our time and are not forced to take a vacation or “staycation” simply because we have to. We should want to explore life ourselves and can find time balancing our lives as we explore more. One of the best ways to explore our surroundings is by dedicating time during our workweek to find time for ourselves – on any scale. As we discover, we grow. As we grow, we our life expands and flourishes. And that is why, we all need to discover the workcation.

To learn more about how you can enhance your life, check out Workcation. It's available to borrow for free via an Amazon Kindle.  

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