Essay

In praise of the staycation

February 13, 2017

The staycation. Defined by Urban Dictionary as: A vacation that is spent at one’s home enjoying all that home and one’s home environs have to offer.

And what I got to enjoy last year, when in a haze of zombified exhaustion I missed my flight from Paris to the Dominican Republic where I was planning to lie on a beach, read seven books, wear the same clothes everyday and indulge in as much (healthy) food as I could as part of an all inclusive package trip.

I picked DR because I wanted to do nothing. I wanted an adult version of summer camp which to me meant, lots of ‘do nothing’ time in a pretty place with someone else looking after all the practicalities.

But I never made it. Though spending an exhausted, devastated day in Charles de Gaulle airport was among the worst days of 2016, the two weeks that followed were among the best.

These last few years, I’ve travelled a lot mostly to places that are not tourist destinations. I’ve been in and out of refugee camps and conflict zones, on the road from conference room to airport to interchangeable hotel bed. It’s a lot of time in airports, a lot of time with a suitcase open on my bedroom floor. I always had a plastic bag of airport approved toiletries ready to go. Not to mention that I’ve spent big chunks of the last decade living all over the place. Now, I just wanna stay home.

So, instead of lying on a tropical beach with a drink with a tiny umbrella in it, I stayed home and slept in my own luxurious bed. I wore a woolly green jumper and started writing. I ate big hearty meals, and had a little lie down after lunch everyday. I went out to buy nice pastries, took my iPad to the park to write and enjoyed the precious quiet solitude. I never wore make up or deodorant.

And, I worked. I got myself set up to finish the year out strong. Sometimes, the most compassionate thing is just to get your shit together. I fixed up the house and figured out my taxes and got myself set up to thrive, kind of like the longterm equivalent of deciding on your meals and outfits on Sunday so that the week is ready to just plug n play.

Very slowly, I felt my body’s tempo begin to settle down again. I started to sleep a little sounder, to wake a little earlier, to digest a little better. It didn’t last forever of course, but those two weeks of calm in the middle of a frenetic year were an important stake in the ground. (2016’s lesson: things can always get worse)

A big part of self care is opting out of the things that don’t serve you and for me, right now, that’s travel. Here’s to staying home forever.

P.S. All those books I wanted to read? I rounded up most of them here.

You Might Also Like