Let’s face it: record snowfall, upcoming midterms, and long hours of working through the long winter days has me yearning for an escape to spring break bliss. Bring on the sunscreen and pina coladas! The only thing holding me back from booking the next flight to Cabo to join Jennifer Aniston in relaxing in the hot, Mexican sun is the fact that most of us equate the word “vacation” with “expensive plane ticket,” “excessive spending,” and “money and time that I don’t have.”
** Sigh **
When I overcommit myself and burn out, I always begin to yearn for an escape from my busy, over-extended life. Or, when I screw up and embarrass myself like a fool, I can definitely relate to those Southwest airlines commercials, (you know, where the friend throws the video game controller and breaks his buddy’s flat screen…), asking if I “Wanna Get Away?” (the answer is “Yes, now please.”). It seems that my brain’s coping mechanism for any sort of stress in my life is to envision getting away for a short respite, just so that I can re-gather my bearings and come back ready to conquer the world once more.
Oh well, the responsible voice within tells me that a vacation means putting off the inevitable work load anyway, right? So for now, I’ll just imagine all the places I daydream about escaping to, if only in my mind. Running away from stress and responsibility is not the answer to the problem and I know that. However, can’t we all relate? Do you ever daydream of getting away too?
Here are the 8 places that I often contemplate about escaping to (before I finally realize that I’m just fine where I am…)
I imagine that there’s nothing glamorous about Caves. Bat poo, insects, and cold, damp air aren’t exactly four-star accommodations, not to mention the slight risk that a carnivorous beast may be lurking in the shadows. However, there’s something peaceful about getting away to a place no one can find you where you can be absolutely alone with your thoughts.
Who knows, maybe a day or two in a cave will be exactly the wake up call that I need as a lesson learned that despite my busy lifestyle, which I chose for myself, I have plenty to be thankful for in my cozy, city apartment.
2) A Farm
Ever think about living the simple life? Sometimes I think: I’ll just get away from the city, buy a [cheap] farm and some farm animals and start growing my own food. By golly, I’ll be self-sustainable and live like they did in the “Little Home on the Prairie” book series. Laura Ingalls Wilder did it and made farm-living sound delightful. No pressures, no deadlines, no need to keep up with the Jones’ when I live in the middle of nowhere right? Ha, oh how America’s farmers are laughing at my naivety. It actually takes a lot of hard work to be a farmer and good ones (who are just as driven, if not more driven than the rest of us) earn more than a decent living for their skills.
They say excessive sleep is a sign of depression because it is a coping mechanism that people use as an escape from reality. Escaping to your dreams can be a pretty risky endeavor considering that if you’re stressed out enough, you may just end up in an endless nightmare that makes you feel worse than facing real life. Plus, not only does sleeping too much lead to various body aches that are a chronic and expensive type of pain to treat and heal, but also leads to procrastination that causes your to-do list to add up while you sleep. Face it, you have to wake up sometime and the longer you put it off, the worse off you are.
4) Into the Crowd
Visitors to the Big Apple often feel lost and alone wandering in New York City where large numbers of people fill its streets every hour of the day. However, if you ask New Yorkers about the one thing they love about living in the city, most of them will say that they love having so many people around all the time! We are a species that is not meant to live alone, and there’s something uniquely comforting about getting lost in a crowd of people.
Home, Sweet Home. There’s no place like it. When the going gets rough, it’s the one place you can turn to that will always provide you with a loving hug when you need one and a listening ear to share your burden with. That is of course, if you have that kind of family. Ha. But even if you don’t, spending the weekend at home with your family can also be that gentle (or not so gentle) reminder about how much you actually love the independent freedom that you enjoy by living on your own.
6) Open Road
Who doesn’t crave the freedom of just getting into your car and driving away? Where to? It doesn’t matter. All you need is a tank of gas, a vehicle, and registration (just in case) and you’re off to enjoy the open roads ahead to clear your mind with a nice leisurely drive. It is important to note, however, that this is NOT the right decision to make if you’re mad or angry because your frustration doesn’t give you the right to make the roads a dangerous place to be. Cars are weapons of destruction when used incorrectly, and driving aimlessly while being angry is not a safe choice for you nor anyone driving on the same road.
That being said, when used responsibly, it’s a great way to leave you troubles behind by getting out on the open road to take a deep breath and enjoy the moment. Try rolling down the windows and letting the fresh air refresh you as you drive.
Hmm…What 3 things would you take with you if you were stuck on a deserted island?
8) Anywhere Foreign
People have a fascination with countries that are not their own. Frustrated by our own government, culture, and just people we’re surrounded by on a daily basis, it’s easy to dream about escaping to one of those countries that rank high on the list of “Happiest Countries in the World.” The issue is, it doesn’t matter where you go, people aren’t all that much different. There is still competitiveness, there is still greed, and there is still injustice where ever your travels will take you. Let your frustration with your surroundings inspire you to be a positive influence to others. I guarantee that it will be a whole lot more fulfilling than moving every 2 years in search of the perfect place to live.