The first time I heard the word staycation, I did a hard eye roll and boo’d.
Another damn word, attempting to be trendy and make it OK that your friend is on a beach in Punta Cana and you’re in your backyard in Nepean (I see you Nepean neighbours…I see you). And because I loathe trends always, this word and this movement was no different.
Now yes: I am fully aware this is a first world problem. Being forced into a staycation is not the sort of dilemma that should lead to lost sleep. But if you are fortunate to live in an affluent community where everyone around you can afford (or pretends to be able to afford) a trip and you can’t, well, it can suck.
Our family cannot realistically afford yearly holidays and plus, we own a 20 year old house that didn’t see a lot of love before we moved in. So, our routine became: “One Summer – trip / Next Summer – home repair.” To be clear, in a family of five, lately the “travel year” entails “We rented a rustic cottage/shack.”
Last year was a no travel year. In the past, even when we had a no travel year, we still tended to drive somewhere and stayed in a hotel overnight. But last year, even that felt frivolous and a waste when we considered our crumbling driveway/shed/windows/taps/etc.
For the first week of July, it bummed me out after we told the 8th person we were staying home. The word “staycation” rolled around in my brain, causing me disdain and anger headaches. This isn’t cool. Stop trying to make it cool, made up word.
By the second week, I realized we had been thrust into something amazing.
Very little schedule. A lot of socializing. SO MUCH FAMILY TIME (which I know some complain about, and I too need a break, but I am actually a person who enjoys almost every second with my kids. Depending on his mood, my husband too.) . It was slow, calm, required very little organizing (other than contractors working on the house) and very little stress.
We actually did the thing where you say you’ll be a tourist in your own city AND ACTUALLY WAS A TOURIST IN OUR OWN CITY. We took the kid’s to historical sites, toy stores we always claim we’d go to but never do, and at one time or another, had almost all of our favourite people over.
When I entered the beginning of the year (September to me should be the beginning), I felt relaxed and refreshed.
I still think the word staycation is butt. But would I in future look at a forced time at home, during the summer, where I have to stay in my location and not vacation, as a raw deal? Nope.