Vacation or not vacation?

After my experiment of only doing what I wanted for a couple of weeks, I had an idea that I decided to try on people.

What if I called that time vacation, instead of an experiment?  What if instead of telling people I was only going to do what I wanted for a couple of weeks, I had said I was going on vacation?  Would there have been different reactions, I wondered?  So I asked the same people I told about my experiment what they would have thought if I said I was going on vacation.

Interestingly, the people that were the most supportive of my experiment looked disappointed.  “Everyone goes on vacation.  I saw this as being different, more meaningful,” is the gist of the responses I received from these folks.

One person, who started out being supportive, and then began making comments about people who only do what they want are “lazy” as the experiment was in full swing, implied they always looked at it as a vacation for me anyway.

The people that were more opposed to the idea seemed RELIEVED!  “Oh, why didn’t you just call it that?  I wouldn’t have been so negative about it then.”  The picture above is representative of how many people view vacations, and yet, this is not always what vacations look like.

Does anyone else see something very interesting here?  If we are taking time off for vacation, then that’s socially/culturally acceptable.  If we are trying out a new way of being, then that is not so easy to support for some people.

To me, a vacation is a time when I am planning activities other than work, such as projects around the house or traveling.  I tend to have things planned before my vacation begins and then when I go back to work, I find I’m resting up from my vacation!

The most interesting point to me is the perceptions people have and the expectations that accompany those perceptions.  A vacation is fine, an experiment about how we live, not so much.

What do you think?  How do you define a vacation?  Is my experiment what you consider vacation?  I didn’t call it that because that is not how I viewed the time, but it appears that if I had used that term, people wouldn’t have given it much thought at all.  So I am glad I didn’t use the term “vacation” because I wanted people to stop and think!

After all this, I may need a vacation!  Namaste!

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