This Just In: Going On Vacation Is Relaxing and Fun!

I’m on vacation in New Orleans and y’all, it’s so nice! The weather is warm and humid, the people are friendly and generous, the food is next level delicious, and I’ve been getting more sleep than I do at home. It’s wild! I’m here with Rachel, one of my closest friends, and we were both reflecting to one another last night how fun and luxurious it feels to take a vacation with a pal, and how taking a break from your day to day life is such a gift to give yourself.

Something my therapist has been really advocating for recently is that I make space in my life for time when I am not actively or passively working. As a freelancer and a writer, I set my own schedule but it’s also incredibly difficult to feel as though I’m off the clock; I technically could be working at all hours of the day, so I end up doing a bad job of defining my work time and my play time. It results in bad work habits, exhaustion, and a total lack of pure play time…I’m always “sort of” working which everyone knows is not a great way to live. By making space specifically for play time, my brain understands that when we’re “at work” we are working hard and staying focused, and when we’re not “at work” we can relax. I’ve been follow Anne Helen Petersen’s research and writing on generational burnout since she wrote about it in January of last year and this all feels very related to that – everyone I know seems to be burnt out. We have to find ways to care for ourselves and grant ourselves a bit of grace, a bit of fun.

It’s not always realistic to take a full on vacation, but I’m going to try to keep this vacation energy present in my life this year and beyond. What are ways you take a breather from your regular life? What’s your favorite vacation you’ve ever taken? What are some affordable options you have to take a rest even when you can’t go on a full weekend getaway? Have you ever asked your best friend to take photos of you naked in a bubble bath drinking wine and eating donuts as a fun vacation activity? Just wondering.

Vanessa is a queer feminist writer and photographer currently based in New York. She really misses Portland. Find her on twitter and instagram.

Vanessa has written 333 articles for us.

10 Comments

  1. Glad you are on vacation & have fun. I did something close to what you described. Except we were in a heart-shaped tub, with Irish whiskey & aperitif(strong & I feel good in the morning) for NYE. We were in one of those pay by the hour(or 12 hours) 70-80s era time capsule motels with the ceiling mirrors in the less glamorous part of LA. We did something similar for our birthdays last year but at a different hotel in the same area. No heart-shaped tub then. Our next trip when she gets back in town will be to the kitschy Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California. We plan to do the romantic suite with the pink champagne cake & hot-tub. If you get it at the right time prices aren’t that much more than the other two motels per night.

    I did do a road trip to Utah with my sister & that was a fun trip as we got to see various terrains & snow. Only con is Utah state law doesn’t allow someone to order two drinks at the same time, cause I really felt like having a boilermaker. The national parks there are truly amazing & do plan to go back. I’ve also been reading & watching more & more backpacking & bikepacking videos, which has given me some vacation ideas, like Idyllwild. Coincidently there is a bud & breakfast place there that has themed rooms including a John Waters room(w/ all his movies on tap) & a Dolly Parton room(w/ all her music on tap). Thinking maybe next spring go bikepack in the area during a three-day weekend were two days & last day stay at the bud & breakfast.

  2. Did you go to the country club or the drifter yet? Don’t know if they still exist but u can be topless by the pool there ☺️

    Also St Roch Tavern had pretty queer and fun YouTube karaoke that I used to go to every week and also I used to work there.

    Have fun!!!

  3. I dunno how long you’ll be here Vanessa and how beast the wait-list might be but go to Saba if you can.
    It’s like Mizrahi cuisine and Ashkenazi cuisine made a fancy hip lil baby.

    Oh and there’s a lovely little kitchen store in the CBD on Girod called Simplee Gourmet you might like.

  4. My favourite pure fun, not even exercise, pursuit in summer is to take my hammock to the park and sit in it and read a book. I live in Scotland so sometimes this requires 2 coats and a sleeping bag in July, but it always makes me feel good!
    Atm I’m feeling pretty down about the amount of time I have to spend ‘preparing’ for work. So even if I’m not actively at work, it’s time I have to spend in bed before or after night shift, or washing my uniform, or batch cooking meals, etc. Once I’ve got all my jobs down, it feels like it’s time for bed again, and that’s my day over.

    Saying that, just had a lovely weekend away with my girlfriend going to a friend’s wedding. Really needed that time off, even though we were both feeling rotten with the cold.

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