A Philosophy of Vacation

My wife and I dream and talk about the trips we'd like to make one of these days. And because her philosophy of vacation is fundamentally flawed, we rarely, if ever, agree on where we should go and what we should do. For her "vacation" is an opportunity to leave reality behind and escape into a world of leisure and frivolity. This world-within-a-world (e.g., cruise ships, Disney, Branson etc.) form of escapism is problematic for me. *lest you think I'm the world's biggest jerk, this is all tongue-in-cheek*

I, on the other hand, take a documentarian approach to vacation—to operate within a new context as an observer, and occasionally as a participant-observer. I want to see actual people, in their natural habitat, acting out their humanity.

I don't want to see what a person from Gotebo, Oklahoma acts like on a cruise ship. To that end, I'd rather go to Gotebo on vacation than go on a cruise. Floating around the Caribbean soaking harmful sun by day and fighting for sleep by night confined to a windowless, stuffy cabin has no appeal. However, I will say I've always been intrigued by the idea of swimming in a body of water while floating in another body of water (i.e. the cruise ship pool).

For me the vacation is a chance to learn, and therein lies the enjoyment, whether or not it's enjoyable. My problem with most vacation destinations is that everything is so contrived, bearing no semblance to reality, that we become complicit in this grand, crafted delusion and pay handily for it.

However, the more I think about it—the people from Gotebo, if on a cruise ship in the pool, would be in a world in a world in a pool inside another pool. I'm suddenly intrigued. "Honey, grab the sunscreen; we're going to swim with the Goteboeans." We all win.