Vacation: What is it?

I made the mistake the other day of telling one of my customers that I was about to start my vacation at the end of the day.  Why was this a mistake?  Because he asked the same question that everyone asks when you tell them that you’re going to start your vacation: where are you going?  Well, let’s see, sir.  I’m a writer, paying off college debts and living off a deli clerk’s wages… I’m flying to Italy!

No, seriously, where do you think I’m going?  I’ve got an oasis of a hammock in my backyard, and quite frankly, that’s all I need. Oddly enough, if you look for vacation pictures on google, all you get are various images of beaches.  I promise you, there are plenty of other places to take a vacation.  If I were to actually go somewhere, it likely would not be the beach.  I don’t like the beach.  Sand gets everywhere, the sun hurts my sensitive eyes, people who should not be wearing skimpy swimsuits parade around in them like they’re America’s Next Top Model…  Really, the only way you would get me near the beach was if I was passing by on my way to go SCUBA diving.

A vacation for me isn’t about going somewhere.  It’s about getting away from my job for a week, to breathe some fresh air and see the sunlight.  You see, even if I could afford to go somewhere, even when I do leave my job, I find it actually impossible to leave my work behind.  My mind is always with me, and no matter where I am in the world, I’m always thinking about my work.  What big plot twist is coming next.  Which character is going to die.  Who is going to start a relationship.   Just how many of my characters I could actually describe as at the very least bi-curious.  You know, that sort of thing.  So even while I manage to get away from the daily grind from the deli, I never actually stop working.   So, at the moment, while my loans are being paid, my ideal vacation is sitting out on that hammock and daydreaming for at least an hour or so.  What’s your ideal vacation?

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