Don't get me wrong. I am a Sagittarius and by nature travel lust runs through my veins. I love being in exotic places where I don't know the language and every meal is an adventure. When I see friends posting pictures on Facebook of their romps through India or Brazil it makes me long to get on a plane and escape! However these past 3 years my husband and I have had to take a pass on world traveling so we could focus on financing, remodeling and running our new retreat center. This made me miserable. Or should I say, I allowed it to make my mind miserable. I was wanting to be somewhere warm and tropical, while in reality I was stuck on the cold rainy Oregon Coast in January. Our funds were tied up in a new business and all we did was work, non stop for months on end. That is enough to stress anyone out and make them wish they could jump on a plane.
This year I had put my foot down and demanded that we fly to India to visit my friend who is living there for a year abroad. I bought the travel book of India at Powell's but in my heart I knew that it was most likely that we could not afford the time or the money to be gone for a month like I hoped. When it was certain that we weren't making it out of our small village again this year I went through a depression (this also coincided with a certain person getting elected and the deaths of someone near to me). My mind was over come with bleak thoughts. Self punishing myself for failing to make enough money to travel, critiquing my husband for not working hard enough for us to leave. Everywhere I looked I saw work and more things to do piled high around me and the "gotta get out of here" valve was about to blow.
Then something remarkable happened. I had a little breakdown. I told Brigham that I didn't want to run the bed and breakfast we were doing anymore. He asked me what I did want to do. I said I wanted to close for January. I also said I wanted to stop doing bed and breakfast entirely and switch to being a health and wellness center. To my surprise he just said, "OK. That is what we will do". Did I mention that I love my husband? Because we have both been working so hard we finally just agreed that if we couldn't leave our lives for vacations- the vacation would have to come to us. Thus the "staycation".
I need to add here that the staycation isn't about turning your life in to a vacation in the classical sense. Sure we took a few nights and drank hot toddies in our empty bnb with the fire roaring. It helps that we own a place where people pay to come and vacation in. But that was always our reality. The real switch is that we suddenly realized that we had a choice on how we were going to live our everyday. If we don't get to run away then we had better face up to what is not working for us. What can we change? What do we drop? How can we make our lives something we enjoy everyday and not just get through to make money so we can jump ship for bit out and then come home and start the cycle all over again.
Staycation is a frame of mind. It's about appreciating what you have instead of comparing it to what you don't. It is a form of mediation that makes life happier in every moment. If I find myself tromping down the beach thinking about how I want to be somewhere else- I could as easily notice that this beach is covered with cold tourists choosing this exact spot as their "somewhere else" and loving every moment of it. I can choose to be a tourist too. I smile and take in the colors of January setting sun and feel gratitude that my life includes walks on the beach almost daily. The new moon is a crescent overhead and the icy cold east wind is whipping up the tops of the surf as it breaks in white lines along the shore. Life is good right here at home.