Goodbye vacation, hello staycation

When’s the last time you took time off? Never? Well, you’re not alone. Taking proper vacations abroad or even here at home to just relax and unwind is not a luxury many of us can afford. Weekend getaways? Maybe, but extended breaks, not so much.

The recent mandatory lockdown doesn’t count by the way! Speaking of which, I feel like we went from ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ (FOMO) to ‘Fear Of Going Out’ (FOGO) and I say “we” despite not being much of a party animal — and while I may attend the odd festival or concert, on any given night, you’re more likely to find me home enjoying a cup of ginger tea and watching the news or whatever show I may be hooked on at the time.

 

So I can’t really say I relate with those of you who’re missing the club scene. I feel the same way about travel, especially now with Covid-19 still raging in many places, and apologies to anyone whose livelihood is dependent on the tourism and hospitality industry, because I know we’re all trying to get our lives back on track.

 

But I’m not about to tempt fate heading anywhere I really don’t have to be. Travelling may be a hobby for some and I know many of us list it in our CVs but truth be told, I dread it and if it’s not for work or a family engagement, I’d rather not bother at all.

 

I hate all the planning that goes into it, not to mention the cost. I always struggle with packing because I’m one of those people who want to take everything along just in case. Luckily, I haven’t had the misfortune of losing luggage because that would drive me nuts.

Add connecting or delayed flights, security checks and now with what seems like endless Covid-19 tests and temperature checks — plus the thought of getting stranded in a foreign land should you contract the coronavirus and must go into quarantine.

Or if you suffer some other health emergency and you can understand why some would-be holidaymakers are scrapping their summer plans. Not everybody appears to be fazed though and you only have to look at images of overcrowded beaches where observing safety guidelines and social distancing are next to impossible. I can’t remember the last time I went to a beach and actually got in the water.

All that spitting, peeing (and God knows what else people do in there) puts me off. The romantic in me cherishes long beach walks, exotic resorts but with people everywhere, I don’t see how I’d be able to enjoy any of that. There’re also some iconic landmarks I’m yet to visit, like the Eiffel Tower. Hopefully someday and hope they won’t be as crowded. For now, virtual tours of picturesque views and idyllic scenery will do.

As for the more adventurous but strenuous activities like hiking and rock climbing, no thanks. Maybe bird watching just to sound cool. I fall in the ‘lazy tourist’ category and only venture out to amusement parks and zoos. I did go camping as a girl guide in school though and actually loved the experience.

The novelty of youth I guess which has since worn off. I can’t pitch a tent by myself, such a shame but I’m not even sure I’d want to because when I think about spending any considerable amount of time outdoors, mosquitoes, bugs and other poisonous creatures come to mind. I wouldn’t mind an overnight stay at a fancy hotel because who doesn’t want to be pampered from time-to-time, right?

Room service and people waiting on your every need. But you know what they say. East or West, home is best, however modest. There’s nothing like your own bed or your own space so staycation it is. Not that I really have a choice.  

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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