I recently went to India for a four-week-long vacation. Some people might argue it is too long to take time off and not the norm. People’s reaction to my holiday was more of a surprise – Oh! Wow, is that even possible. When we lived in London, it wasn’t that big of a deal because Europe/UK does have a great holiday culture. But, in the US, most people feel guilty about taking a vacation. So, I decided to explore what Vacation is through this blog.
So, the Latin meaning of the word Vacation comes from Vacate, which means to to be unoccupied. So to be on Vacation means to be unoccupied. For me, the best vacations are the most basic form of living – where all you do is live your life. A typical day on my Vacation would start around 6:00 AM with an hour-long meditation, exercising, showering, journaling and end with me getting ready to bed around 7:30 PM, an hour-long meditation and in bed by 9:00 PM. I read books, wrote books or watched TV, spent quality time with my parents, and ate home-cooked healthy meals between those hours. For me, a perfect vacation is where I am not doing anything, just being or existing.
Research shows that it takes you a week to ten days before your body realizes that you are no longer working on a 9-5 job. So, if you truly want to relax, you have to take at least 7-10 days off. And if you live in the US and are going to India, a month is the least you can take as travel and jet lag take about a week.
For me, my annual trip to India is important for another reason. It is nice to live in a place where the majority of the people look like me, have the same language as me, speak English with the same accent I have, where advertisements talk about familiar things and radio talks about local stuff. I do not have to think twice about what I am wearing or nuances. I am at home, and everywhere else is still ‘Foreign’ for me. So, Vacation for me is a way to centre myself, remind my body, mind and soul and who I really am. And there is something super lovely about living with my parents. It creates a sense of security that I had growing up, which means any problems will be taken care of. And, of course, it is nice not to have to think about the dozen mundane things that need to be done around the house.
Vacation can mean different things to different people, but it does mean being unoccupied for a while. And when you come back, everything feels fresh. The things or tasks that you detested seem ok now. When you hear terms, your mind has to remember what they mean. In some ways, if you don’t take the time for yourself, you become stale – to keep things fresh, it is good to take a break.
Vacation does not always have to be someplace away. It can be in your own home. It is a mindset and an attitude. Imagine if you carried work in your mind even when you were in India – then it wouldn’t be an actual vacation. So, in essence, a good holiday is primarily in your mind. In your mind, tune off for a day or two and feel the difference.
What are your thoughts on Vacation?