When you take a vacation, do you really get away? By that I mean psychologically as well as physically?
Do you experience the cocoon effect?
I have taken several vacations in recent years. All were very relaxing. One in particular stands out for what I learned–nay, experienced–in the process. There’s a lesson for you in this.
As I was walking toward the beach at this all-inclusive resort, a series of thoughts came to mind. A realization, actually. (Some might say an epiphany, but I won’t go that far.)
I remember thinking, I am really comfortable right now. Not a care in the world. Don’t have to think about anything (as in, make any big decisions.)
Then, glancing north–toward home–I thought, Up there is the real world, with all those issues, demands and responsibilities. I am so glad I don’t have to face that now. I feel safe and protected from that. As if I’m in a cocoon.
There it was: This feeling that I had experienced before finally had a name.
Getaway vacations should be just that
The whole point of a vacation or even just a weekend getaway is to truly get away: escape from the daily grind and stress. Visit some place away from your home locale, and immerse yourself in the environment. Forget about the daily responsibilities; those are not an issue. Focus on exploring and experiencing where you are.
Too often vacationers stay connected to what’s happening back at the office. They use their cell phones or the computers in the cafe at the resort. Checking for messages, they learn that some issue has cropped up. (Is that always the case?) Knowing this, they then become engrossed in the problem. It eats at them, for they realize that they are still several days from returning home. Upon arriving home those individuals are as stressed out as when they left. That supposed escape vacation was not a vacation at all. And that’s a shame, but a preventable one.
Don’t let the crud of everyday life spoil your vacation. Think of it this way. Every time you check email, or otherwise get in touch with work, you punch a hole in your cocoon and allow the smog of the real world into your world. That’s wrong.
That place and time is your place and time. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to ignore work and focus on them. As you concentrate on work, you cheat yourself and your family out of that valuable time together. Selfish, isn’t it?
Don’t let work interfere with your vacation. Sit back, relax, and let the cocoon effect envelope you.
Do you experience a similar phenomenon when you travel? Do you have a name for it? Feel free to comment below. And, if you enjoyed this column, please share it so that others may benefit from what you and I have written. Thanks!
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New Berlin, Wisconsin