COM0014 – Blog #1: Backyard Adventuring

IMG_4814When I Google searched the word “vacation”, the three top search results consisted of “vacation packages”, “all-inclusive vacations”, and “cheap last minute vacations”.  However, when I pursued the definition of “vacation”, the phrase that resonated with me the most was freedom or release from duty, business, or activity.

It’s miraculous how seemingly polar opposite the connotative and denotative definitions of the word “vacation” are. However, upon closer examination, you’ll notice that deeply nestled within the cognitive association of “vacation” is a glimpse at what the denotive definition is trying to convey, at its very core. Within our thirst for vacations we crave the simplicity, freedom, stress-free, pressure-free time spent with individuals we value most, that generally come along with vacations.

For me, a vacation resonates deeply with the simplicity of the denotive definition. For, me a vacation involves stepping outside of my everyday world and into one that offers excitement and the unknown. For me, that involves stepping into what I like to call ‘my own backyard’.

My own backyard isn’t even my backyard at all. It’s a piece of the forest that exists within my city. My most recent trip to the woods just last week, involved fresh snow and crisp air. Stepping into the forest, surrounded by the sweet smell of trees and clean air free of city pollution, was like breathing in a much-needed breath of fresh air. Being in nature, surrounded by nothing but the crackling of a fire and the distant rush of a freshly thawed river was so indescribably serene. The silence of the empty forest was deafening in the most calming way possible and for the first time that week, I truly felt alone and at peace with my thoughts. In my meditative state, I was able to be fully and completely present and appreciative of the beauty and serenity around me.

That day trip, consisting of an afternoon in the wilderness, was a vacation. I booked a day off work using accrued vacation time and spent that day accordingly. I achieved freedom from the duty of work to find a release from the stress that often encounters the day-to-day whirlwind.

I find that when you simplify the cost, time and energy involved to take a vacation you’ll be able to take more frequent vacations, and truly appreciate the time that you do get to spend with the ones you love, doing the things you love to do.

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