You’ve been working hard. Or you’ve been hardly working; whichever. Either way, you’ve been doing it for a while and you feel like you need a vacation. So you go into your bank account, rearrange a few things to make room for a fun withdrawal, take a hammer to your piggy bank on the counter, and start browsing the internet for destinations that you can’t really afford but are going to seize anyway, because you “deserve” it. You find a couple of deals, and you start hitting up your friends to see who’s going to keep you company on this unjustifiable treat you’re setting up. By this point you’re all excited and hyped up like “Yeah! This is great, and totally happening!” But of course, most of the people you reach out to can’t make it, because they’ve got work, school, family, etc… One would think that that is the moment that you should pay close attention to seeing as how it’s probably the universe telling you that this isn’t a good idea after all. What you should do instead is stop your whining and get back to work because things aren’t as hard as you’re making them out to be, and all this stress that you think you’ve induced is actually self-inflicted because you’re just a giant baby.
But who, ever listens to the universe? Pft. So you manage to find an aimless sap among your friends to join you on this last minute trip. It’s all set and ready to go. Here is the breakdown on the coming attractions that will be joining you:
- PACKING – You’re faced with the dilemma of “Do I pack as much shit as possible and pay extra for checked baggage or do I take a risk, pack light and avoid the possibility of the airlines losing my belongings?” Let’s not belittle the seriousness of this predicament. There are some real decisions that have to be made here. In reality we all have too much stuff to begin with. It’s a known fact that we wear only like the same ten things over and over again on a regular basis, and the rest of it just hangs there, waiting for the “right occasion”. Knowing that, you should probably pick the smarter, more economical choice, and pack light – a hefty duffle bag if you will. But wait… You’re going on vacation where you’re probably going to take tons of pictures. You don’t want to wear the same things there that you wear on a regular basis; then you won’t be able to show off. So you visit your fancy NeverGotTheChanceToWearButGoingToKeepItAnywayBecauseItIsJustSoDarnCute pile, and you throw all your “favorites” in your suitcase. Now you’ll have options! After all, it’s better to have things to choose from than not. Naturally this only applies to the female population. For guys it’s much easier. A couple of dress shirts, a couple of T-shirts, jeans, pants, shorts, some underwear (mostly gonna be commando anyway so who cares), and you’re all set. The lovely “whatever I forgot, I’m just gonna buy there” often comes into play. Girls can’t do that. Don’t get me wrong, they’ll always come back with more shit than they originally brought, but they’ll never pack with the intention of buying more shit. And the funniest thing is no matter how much shit you pack, and no matter how prepared you think you are for this trip, there will always be something that you forget to bring. It could be something trivial like a piece of jewelry, or it could be something “fundamental” like that one shirt that goes perfect with those shorts in that particular weather. So of course you’re gonna be sitting there, tearing yourself a new one over the fact that you brought ALL this stuff bur forgot that one thing… But let’s pretend for a second that your packing skills are superb and you did a phenomenal job at pre coordinating your outfits and making sure that everything in your suitcase makes sense and goes together. That is precisely when the bad luck will come out and make sure that either the airlines do in fact lose your luggage or your stupid drunk ass will forget something at the hotel and/or someone’s house. Perhaps the bad luck is very particular in her prey and seeks me out specifically while leaving the rest of you untouched by her treacherous ways, but I refuse to believe that I’m the only victim of these packing shenanigans.
- GETTING THERE & BACK – Feeling adventurous? Up for several hours in the car with your friend accompanied by nothing but the long distance? That’s mighty confident of you, and quite admirable. You might even go as far as creating a playlist with a special “road trip” soundtrack. The thing about road trips is you have to be very careful about picking your companion. It has to be someone that shares your interests or at least doesn’t despise your taste in music and/or food choices. It has to be someone that you feel comfortable sharing the silence with. It has to be someone that you trust. People’s driving abilities or inabilities alone can put a serious strain on your time together for the next whatever amount of hours it’s going to take you to get to your next destination. And last but not least, it has to be someone who doesn’t cringe at the idea of driving to your destination instead of flying. If your chosen vacation buddy meets the above mentioned qualifications, then a road trip is encouraged (depending on the distance and the allotted time off you have available of course). It is my personal opinion that you get more out of your vacation if you drive. So much to see, so many possibilities and detours, so many more wonderful/scary/amazing/funny situations you can get yourself into whilst on the road to add to your delicious vacation time line than if you had chosen to fly. Welllllll… That’s not entirely true. You can also miss your plane from Mexico and fuck up all your adjacent flights merely because you decided to buy some duty free tequila completely losing track of time… I guess that can go in the “Stupid things I did in the presence of my amazing friends who in spite of their better judgment stuck by my side” file. Whatever method you pick for your travels, you better be prepared for the way back. It’s all fine and dandy on the way there because you have a destination – you’re excited. By the time you have to head back, you will more than likely have had enough of this person, no matter how good or bad of a friend that person is. If you’re flying, you can just sleep it away, hug the other person goodbye when it’s time and be done with it. If you’re driving, no such luck. The way back is almost always less pleasant than the way there. And it’s hardly ever because you don’t want to go home. It’s mostly always because you can’t get there fast enough.
- THE ITINERARY – Maybe you’re super organized and have everything from wake up time, to breakfast, to attractions and bed time planned out. Maybe you’re not organized at all and you’re in the mindset of doing whatever, whenever, as it comes to you. Perhaps you’re somewhere in the middle and while you have some definite things you want to accomplish on your vacation, you also want to dedicate some time to vegging out and doing absolutely nothing. Naturally, your companion comes into play here because one person’s agenda has to match that of the other in order to achieve the ultimate effect of mutual fun. Otherwise, why go with someone when you can just go by yourself? Create your own itinerary and follow it. That way if you derail, you have no one to blame but yourself. I don’t know about you but for some reason my vacations never seem to work out the way that I plan them. It’s always something. Granted, when I say “plan”, I don’t mean that I write it in stone or anything… I just kind of throw it out there – ‘That would be nice, this sounds interesting, and we should totally make time for that’. Much like my eyeballs are bigger than my stomach when it comes to food, my itinerary is almost always bigger than reality. But then life will always be like “oh yeah? How about a wrench in your feeble little plans? Make a more solid itinerary next time Biatch”. And there go my ideas, stumbling down a hill of broken aspirations. It’s okay though. By that point I’m probably drunk and I don’t care that I didn’t get to do all the things that I wanted to do because my friend and I ended up singing out of tune in front of strangers and unexpected drunk fun trumps premeditated fun any day. So take that, Life.
- THE AFTERMATH – The moment you come back, you feel like you need a vacation again. This, my friends is called a Vacation Withdrawal. You’re in limbo between the Paradise of complete lack of responsibility/awareness and the Real World. You suddenly feel like an infant; you don’t know what to do with yourself. You just want to go back into the “womb” where it’s nice and cozy, and no one bothers you, and you don’t have to deal with all the weirdoes. But, too bad – No matter how much you feel like a baby and you want to be babied, you’re not. You have to get up, wipe the post-nap drool off your face and get back into it. Okay, you can have the hangover curing beer to get you started, but that’s it. After that you have to return to being a grownup no matter how many donkey balls it sucks. Oh vacations, they really set you back don’t they.