Adventure vs. relaxation vacations

posted by Jeff | Saturday, April 7, 2018, 11:02 PM | comments: 0

We're just about winding down four nights in New York, which in practical terms has been three action-packed days. I'll write more about the activities later, but I want to talk a little bit about the way I think of vacationing.

It's no secret that since moving to Central Florida I developed something of a cruising problem. The context of that is important: I went about 8 months after moving with no real break from work, in part because I was contracting (which means you don't get paid when you're not working), and in part because I was saving for our house that was being built. A Florida resident offer came up for a cruise, and it was a compelling proposition. All we had to do was drive an hour to the port, get on the ship, and people would take care of us and tell us where to go to eat. For one day, they would do the same on a beach. As burned out as I was feeling, that made perfect sense.

The cruises are what I would call relaxation vacations. They have very little in the way of structure and there's a lot of sitting around sipping girly drinks. My personality is such that I need that kind of thing periodically. I try to make at least 15 to 30 minutes a day, not at bedtime, to chill out and think about nothing. I need that time. A relaxation vacation does this for me.

On the other hand, you can engage in a kind of travel that is purely about the adventure. Maybe "adventure" is too strong of a word, because I'm not suggesting that you have to participate in extreme sports. But sometimes, you want to go at your locations hard and do as much stuff as you can. That's what this New York trip was about for me. I was going to a new place with literally endless possibilities. It doesn't mean that I had to plan it all out, but I never had The Met, Grand Central, a trip uptown just to get tickets, or a third show on my agenda. We did all of that anyway. I haven't had a vacation like this since our Alaska cruise (which was not like the tropical "normal" cruises we take because of all the port adventures).

I suppose you could do both on a trip, but it sure depends on the locale. I mean, I can't ever imagine going to New York to relax. I can't imagine going to the beach for adventure.

I was looking forward to this vacation for all of the entertainment that you can't get elsewhere, but kind of dreading being in a big city, because my half-dozen visits to Chicago were always exhausting. As it turns out, I'm definitely tired, but New York isn't nearly as exhausting as I expected, probably because I don't have to drive anywhere. Most of our subway riding was in non-rush hours, so the only thing exhausting was having to walk through Times Square, which is obnoxious. The rest of the adventure was excellent.

Our next vacation will be with Simon, and of the relaxation variety. After that, who knows. At some point, I'd love to take Simon on an amusement park road trip (when I know he'll ride stuff). Washington DC is on the list. Diana and I would like to cruise Northern Europe, mostly as a sampler so we can figure out where we'd like to return.


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