Monday, July 2, 2012

On vacation

I am not. On vacation, that is. Or holiday if you prefer. I'm not on either. I'm in Oslo, not travelling, not not working (but not really working that much either).

The reasons for this are severalfold.

First of all, formally I don't have the "right" for vacation this year. A paid one, that is. Per our system you ear money for a paid leave each year, but it is earned from the previous year's salary. Since I started my current job in January I don't qualify this year. I could still have taken an unpaid vacation, of course, but how in the would I then cover my rent? So, instead I applied for not having to take out any vacation this year. The problem with this is, of course, that as a teacher I don't really have that much to do between semesters. I can (and should) obviously prepare for the next semester. I do. I read. And think. And look out the window. And have another coffee. And then read some more. But in reality, my motivation is nowhere to be found. The semester feels so faaaaaar away (though it isn't!).

Aside from not technically having earned a vacation this year I am not sure I would have gone anywhere even if I'd had the time off. Time isn't the only thing I'd have to earn, after all - travelling is expensive (especially since I become even  less inclined to watch my spending when on vacation). Even thought I have a decent salary now, I haven't gotten used to the idea of having money yet (it's a tough transition, I tell ya, from having lived for years as a poor student, and now money magically shows up in my account every month. Why wouldn't I spend it all at once??). Saving money? Wouldn't even know how. Okay, that's not entirely true. I do save money. But it's more for the endless black hole labelled "future" than the current fancy labelled "vacation".

Third, and this is somewhat connected to the previous point - I am a terrible planner. Terrible. To me, booking flight tickets feels like a life or death decision (and not because I'm scared of flying - no, it's the commitment that freaks me out). I don't like planning more than, say, a week ahead. Having tickets for something months ahead is the same as saying no to something else that might show up (it's a terrible habit, I know). At the same time, though, I'm not at all impulsive. The idea of going to the airport and just get a ticket to the first and best place you find is almost as scary to me as actually planning that trip ahead... And still I love to travel - you try to figure it out!

So, to sum up - I'm not on vacation because I don't have the time, I don't have the money and because I absolutely suck at planning these things. The first two might and will change with time - the third I'm not so sure about. I guess I just have to suck it up and accept that sometimes planning ahead is okay. In the meantime I've managed to enjoy some vacation-ish time right here in Oslo the previous week. With visiting several museums, going to the cinema, shopping (though not for souvenirs...) and eating more ice cream than what's good for me, I've pretty much covered the tourism part anyway.


sue said...

As a theoretical concept I think the idea of planning for a holiday and even booking the tickets ahead (they're so much cheaper) is brilliant. But!...what if you change your mind. Some things I like to have sorted and planned, others such as holiday destinations ... no!

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

Are you having what we call a "stay-cation?" It's when you stay home, 'cause it's cheaper, but you have time off, so you enjoy the sites and experiences in your own area. It's a great way to have a little down time. Enjoy!

Play off the Page

Mark Murata said...

Having a vacation at home is practical. As you say, you're visiting museums. Plus, you won't need to recover from your vacation.

Katie Rob said...

So, sounds like you're having a Stay-cation. Those can be fun, too! Oslo would be a destination vacation for me. Why don't you invite a friend to stay who hasn't been before and show him/her around?

Cruella Collett said...

A stay-cation I wouldn't mind, but in this case it seems that the actual -cation part is missing. Still, I am taking time off and shouldn't complain.

And Katie - sure - come, I'll show you around :)

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