Thursday, October 18, 2018

Vacationing is Overrated


Why do Americans vacation so much? Do we really think it will make us feel better to go somewhere else? Why do we invest so much time and effort into the process?  We're still the same people we are at home. The only thing that changes is the scenery. And then we always have to return back to our mundane lives afterwards. In my opinion, the entire procedure is highly overrated and a real letdown.

Besides, vacationing is exhausting, expensive and a helluva lot of work overall. You either have to get on a plane or drive in your car, usually going far away, which means you have to go through a lot of trouble just getting there. If you're leaving the country you have to go through customs, which is even worse. I don't know about you, but a full cavity search is not my idea of a good time. Those latex gloves are cold!

Going to a destination is stressful because of the anticipation. And returning is stressful because of the depression. (Especially if your'e coming back from Las Vegas penniless, which has happened to me more than I care to recall.)

This is the tourist season here in San Francisco. People from all over the world converge on this place every summer. You can tell a tourist a mile away. They wear those silly t-shirts that say things like "I Was a Prisoner at Alcatraz" or "Take Me to Fisherman's Wharf," or even worse, they wear those really insipid Hard Rock Cafe© shirts. They walk around with those cartoon maps of the city and ask locals questions like, "What do you people eat around here?" and/or "Is it always this windy?" And they take pictures of everything in sight. I saw a guy the other day taking a picture of a seagull. I guess they don't have them in Missouri.

I like where I live. I have all my creature comforts right here. There's my local bar, my favorite dry cleaners, clubs and restaurants. I have my dogs, my baseball cable package and the guy at the liquor store down the street sells me beer at a discount. If I want to go to Europe or Africa or some exotic location, I can always watch it on the Travel Network. I can live vicariously through the people on the show. It costs a lot less, I don't have to fly and I can turn it off when it gets boring.

And besides, going on vacation usually means you have to spend a lot of time with family and relatives, many of whom you would never associate with if they weren't related to you. When I walk around Fisherman's Wharf or in Chinatown here in SF, I notice a lot of families fighting. The kids are annoying the parents, the parents are being heavy-handed with the kids, and grandma and grandpa are whacked out on Thorazine. They look miserable and probably wish they were back in Tulsa rather than stuck in an unfamiliar, very expensive place like San Francisco.

They were looking forward all year to a wonderful vacation, they did all this planning, they even bought new luggage and now they're having a miserable time. Welcome to the American tradition called the vacation.

And with that diatribe out of system, I must leave you if only for a short while. Where am I going? You guessed it.

About the Writer

Ed Attanasio is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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4 comments on Vacationing is Overrated

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By Steven Lane on June 30, 2007 at 10:21 pm
You can't beat a leg of lamb in Athens, or ceviche in Mexico. If I could be on the road 365 days a year, I would be so gone! On August 9th, I will be in Ecuador eating guinea pig, lol.
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By Steven Lane on June 30, 2007 at 10:22 pm
Love the photo by the way.
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By Jen on July 01, 2007 at 01:25 pm
Very funny article! it the latex that is cold, or the lubricating jelly? just curious... Steven- I've eaten guinea pig! In Peru. Its a little on the greasy side. Tastes like chicken.
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By Phoenix on July 03, 2007 at 02:05 pm
There's no place like home, but that's what's so great about traveling...getting to see/taste/hear/smell/experience the rest of the world. By the way, I've been known to make the drive from LA to SF to satisfy a craving for The House of Nanking...
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