Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Vacation vs. "Vacation"

The last vacation I had was in 2000. Here are my criteria for a trip to be called a vacation:
* Leave home for 3 or more days.
* Does not involve visiting family. (Hence, it is better classified as a familial duty/obligation.)
* Does not involve work.

My definition doesn't seem unduly daunting, does it? Well, my last vacation was seriously in 2000 - as in, our honeymoon. For the most part, I don't mind. I'm a homebody. I like my house. I don't like traveling that much. All that combined is a recipe for going 13 YEARS without a vacation.

Over Christmas break, I got excited about potentially going on our first vacation since 2000. I want to take a cruise to Alaska with my husband and daughter. It's will probably be about $5,000, which we can save and plan for...or even take it out of savings and pay ourselves back.

But I started feeling guilty. Actually I wasn't even feeling guilty about spending the money to go on a cruise. The guilt was about my husband's relatives on the East Coast. They've been asking us for, oh, 13 YEARS to come visit. They're getting older; they aren't going to live forever. It feels so selfish to take a vacation when we've been telling them that we'll go visit when J is older and when my husband got a more stable job. Well, J is older. My husband got a more stable job. I know what the "right" thing to do is. But it's not a vacation. It's a "vacation."

And the suckiest part? This dang trip is going to cost as much as the Alaskan cruise. I was liking the Alaskan cruise idea because we'd get out of dealing with cross-country airplane rides and rental cars and food expenses, etc. Now it's going to be a scheduling nightmare with plane tickets, hotels, a rental car (what about a car seat?), planning activities, coordinating visits with family, etc.

I'm sure S's family wouldn't want us to get a hotel, but for my peace of mind I NEED a hotel. I don't like spending the night in other people's houses, and I don't want to feel suffocated by 24/7 togetherness with family I don't even know.

This is such a scheduling nightmare that I'm regretting even bringing up my selfishness/guilt to my husband about wanting to go on a real vacation when we haven't made good on our promise to visit his family on the East Coast.

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