There may not be anything more depressing than returning from vacation. It’s hard to swallow leaving paradise to return to your regular routines and responsibilities, but I really didn’t mind coming home from my honeymoon Monday morning.
I was actually looking forward to making a return to the U.S. after a week’s stay in Mexico. Yes, the fact that the people there hadn’t even heard of Mountain Dew was a factor, but mainly I realized how much better life is in the states. I’m not going to get sappily patriotic here, though. We enjoy great freedoms that aren’t available in other countries, but the ones I wasn’t provided aren’t really those on which the country prides itself. They’re just the little extras.
For example, I missed being able go out in public without being pestered by five different guys selling fake silver jewelry. I missed walking down the street without having to eye the seven stray dogs wandering about while ignoring the random 3 p.m. rooster crows.
Additionally, it’s nice having clean tap water even if the power takes a brief break. There, the water turned so dirty so quickly that I thought the maid had upper decked our toilet following a short power outage.
Mexico was a nice change of pace and an interesting experience, but its lack of the minor luxuries present here made me miss home.
One week of endless salsa and “The Simpsons” en Español was enough. I wasn’t sulking during my ride to the airport like I had done at the end of other vacations. I had no problem coming home, but I was not looking forward to returning to work.
I know; that seems like an obvious statement. My fretting a return to the daily grind had nothing to do with my job or coworkers, though. I’m just one of many who only work out of necessity. There are some people, however, who wouldn’t dread coming back to the office. They actually enjoy going to work because they don’t know what else to do with ample free time, and I honestly can’t understand this.
I know there are people out there like this because I just married one, but I also know a few others. These are the people who keep working average-paying jobs after taking home $100 million from the lottery. It has nothing to do with modesty or keeping in touch with co-workers, though. They have to keep working in order to maintain their mental health, for a lack of tasks to complete quickly leads to a lack of sanity.
My wife Jess and I recently discussed a question that’s critically important for every couple: “What’s our game plan if we win the lottery?” While I said I’d only do the work I want to do, like perhaps writing a column, she remained suspiciously quiet. When I finally asked her if she could handle voluntary unemployment, she said “No.”
Being on vacation, however, only reinforces that I am not one of these people. Time away from work reminds me of all the things I don’t get to spend my time doing because I’m too busy earning a living. I would have no problem staying busy if I suddenly fell into a large sum of money. Would I be spending my time on productive tasks? A few, maybe. Mostly, though, I’d be doing whatever made me happy, and those tasks can be fairly stupid and pointless sometimes.
This past vacation, as these trips always do, left me longing for very early retirement. The idea of living completely carefree and unfettered by time commitments is a tough one to get out of my head. In fact, I just finished watching and reading “No Country for Old Men,” and even though Josh Brolin’s character’s luck later leads to his death, I found myself hoping I too could stumble upon a botched drug deal in the desert and take home $2 million.
But even that amount couldn’t sustain a permanent return to the vacation lifestyle – that is, unless I’d be willing to head back to Mexico.
You must be logged in to post a comment.