It can be fun to think about taking a vacation—daydreaming about where you’re going to visit or what you’re going to do. But have you ever been in a spot where you felt like you needed a vacation?

If you come to a place where you see a vacation as a necessity, it can be valuable to consider why you feel that way. Is it something you need because of the pace or nature of your day-to-day life? Because if so, instead of focusing so much on the occasional week of “vacation,” why not turn your attention to the pace and structure of all the “normal” weeks the rest of the year?

Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from. –Seth Godin1

If life is so exhausting that vacation is the only escape, what can you do to make your schedule more sustainable? If you find yourself constantly comparing yourself with the experiences of others, and now everything around you seems dull, what can you do to remove these kinds of distractions? It’s not hard to get really busy or set unrealistic expectations. But a vacation in itself won’t cure these problems. It may distract us or refresh us momentarily, but the life we felt the need to escape from will still be there when we return.

I’m all for taking a vacation. But I see it like the cherry on top of an ice cream sundae. It’s nice to have, but it’s not the main thing. Some may never take a “vacation” and still have wonderful lives. Vacations can be great. But whenever you feel like you have to have one, it’s also worth considering why exactly you’re feeling that way.

  1. Although I’ve see this quote attributed to Seth, I can’t find the original source. I’ve also seen a similar quote, “Live a life you don’t need a vacation from,” attributed to various people, so I’m not sure who or where this sentiment was originally expressed. ↩︎