Why do people like to self-destruct themselves? I do so when it comes to vacation.

What does that mean? For those who have no children and don’t know, local schools have been closed this week, and many in the Tri-County area have taken a vacation.

I self-destruct vacations in at least trivial ways. I’m looking forward to them a month ago, forgetting that even with 40 hours a week (and possibly more) working hours, there are months when you can have fun and make memories. We live this magical week of life. This is what I’m building in my mind to be this crazy and huge block of entertainment time, saying “only a month away”, even though the time to vacation is actually four. Many times longer than the vacation itself. In a way, it seems ridiculous.

And what do you do on the first day when your vacation begins? I’m already thinking in my head, “I still have 5 days left” It’s a decent time, but the vacation will end before we know it. And I probably live in such ridiculous and depressing thoughts every day for 30 minutes, as if checking if that thought process is true is almost a test. Why do we do these things?

There are many ways to take a vacation. Some people like to go to different places around the world, so you can see different places. We are almost the opposite. Many of our vacations go to the same places we traditionally visit. In the spring, it’s usually a state park near where Kentucky borders Virginia and Tennessee in the Cumberland Gap. In fact, one of the trails we often go to takes us to mountainous areas (in fact, these are bigger hills than mountains). There you can lie down in one place and be in all three states at the same time.

We go there consistently for several reasons. First of all, going to a new place can be fun, but it can be a little stressful because it’s difficult to plan an itinerary if you’re in a place you’ve never been to. On one vacation we took the train to St. Louis. I stupidly thought that the station had to be close to where I could rent a taxi and stay, so I ended up in a place like the parking lot of the Major League Baseball in St. Louis. When we got there, time was hosting a baseball game. I couldn’t find a taxi, and I think I didn’t even have a cell phone at the time (this was over 20 years ago). So what did we do in the end? We walked around St. Louis with a bag looking for a motel. It’s a ridiculous and fun story right now (the difference between tragedy and comedy is normal time), but it was quite stressful at the time.

So, on the other side, if you go to the place you are always traveling, it’s a vacation place where you know a lot of fun to do and it relieves that stress. It will also be a vacation to almost a second home, probably without the responsibility of owning a second home or cottage. And while we may do many of the same things, we rarely use all the roads to walk the area (we mainly walk trails on vacation). So every time you find a new trail to check out. There’s something soothing to be in a place you know enough to feel like home, but it’s still a very vacation. One day 20 years later, I may regret that my vacation wasn’t diversified, but I doubt it.

But we are starting to do that too. Our idea is to start diversifying in states where we don’t take vacations very often, that is, a very good state to check out our hometown of Michigan. During the summer of 2020, when the pandemic was severe, we took a vacation to UP and loved it. Ah, there’s a lot to do there. You can go in 20 different directions from the base camp (probably the motel room you are renting) and do different things every day. One day we started by stepping into Lake Superior, and the same day we were in Lake Michigan. We exploded. So now, our plans are likely to always include vacations somewhere in Michigan, and we’re probably more focused on UP.

That is us. Unless we find a bear in the woods, we are not the ones who seek great thrills. We don’t have to look at the Eiffel Tower when we look down on the mountains around the nature around us. Usually more impressive in our minds. And, in fact, we don’t even like the destinations of regular tourist traps. Who sees Toledo as a major vacation hotspot other than us?

These are part of our theory for a successful vacation and it works for us.