Do you realize that I have not been on an actual vacation since 2008? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve taken time off here and there. But all that time off ends up being spent at home because I’m never able to afford to leave town. The staycation has been played out for this guy. I want a vacation. In my mind, the vacation is me going somewhere that I don’t go to very often (or ever), staying somewhere that’s unfamiliar, relaxing in ways that I can’t when I’m plagued with thoughts of home, and possibly finding adventure in an unexpected place.
For several weeks, I’ve known that I would have the summer off from work. Here’s how it works: I have a 12-month contract, but I’m only required to work throughout the 10 months of the school year. Our company has a summer program that I could potentially work, but I don’t necessarily have to. I’m paid throughout the summer whether I work or not. If I do work, it’s like a bonus to the paycheck. But I figure, if I can survive the summer without having to work, why work?
I’ve got the time off. And in doing some recent math, I’ve discovered I’ll have the funds to treat myself to a genuine vacation this year. So I’m left with the question: where should I go? I really don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve actually planned a vacation for myself. As I mentioned above, 2008 was the time I took a vacation. And for that one, I didn’t do a lot of the planning. I visited my friend Jen in Los Angeles and she was pretty much in charge of the itinerary. I don’t even know where to begin. I guess I can begin with some of the ideas I’ve had…
- Cross-Country Road Trip – This has been the dream for a long time. It’s on the bucket list. It’s a crazy expensive trip, so I’m not sure I’m willing to do it, because I’m kind of cheap. But I also imagine it could be troublesome to take this kind of trip alone. Road trips are always more fun when you have someone in the car with you. Jamming out to Disney songs just isn’t the same when it’s just you. Plus, what if I’m trekking across South Dakota and something happens to my car. I can’t just call someone and ask them to come pick me up? Odds of being this summer’s vacation: 250 to 1.
- Caribbean Cruise – I’ve never been on a cruise of any kind. I keep hearing from everyone I know who has been on one that these are the way to go. This is how you get the most bang for your buck, as it were. However, I don’t know how I would respond to being on the open sea. I don’t typically suffer from any kind of motion sickness, but what if seasickness is different? Also, my passport expired a few years ago. I’m not sure that I could get it renewed in time for this vacation to happen. Odds of being this summer’s vacation: 10 to 1.
- New York City – I’ve been to New York once. But I was only there long enough to catch a Mets game and a Yankees game. I had enough time to ride the elevator to the top of the Empire State Building, but I didn’t do anything else that could be considered touristy. I want to see a Broadway production. I want to see the Statue of Liberty. I want to visit Ground Zero, morbid as that may seem. But, like the road trip, this feels like the kind of thing that would be more fun experiencing with someone else. And since I don’t think I can plan on having any friends having the same no work summer schedule, I’d be doing New York alone. Odds of being this summer’s vacation: 7 to 1.
- Los Angeles – I could go to LA again. Jen is still out there, so I could hang out with her and her fiance while I’m there. So even if I’m not traveling out there with someone, I’d at least know some people there. So it’s not like the Home Alone 2 vacation. And I’m sure there are plenty of things that I didn’t do the first time around when I went to LA. I could go to a Dodgers game. I could go to Disneyland. If they’ve rebuilt the Hill Valley set at Universal, I could finally see that bit of Back to the Future history. But I’d have to get in touch with Jen to make sure it’s cool for me to come out and visit. I don’t just want to assume that she and TJ will be willing to make time for me to come hang out for a few days. Odds of being this summer’s vacation: 4 to 1.
Those are the thoughts that I’ve had. I’m open to more suggestions. Where do you think I should spend my summer vacation? Keep in mind, I have the money to take a vacation, but it’s not as if I have unlimited funds. So let’s try to vacation on a budget. Share your ideas on the comments below!