When Staycation Got Hold of Me

Staycation – nah! Not my kind of thing! Why would I spend so much money on a fancy resort or hotel in my own city! Not something I’ll ever do. Or so, I thought.

It must be a year ago or may be two when I heard this word for the first time – STAYCATION, a portmanteau of the words Stay and Vacation. Travel hadn’t opened up fully until then and I would find colleagues off on staycations with their families or friends. When someone explained to me what a staycation entailed, it didn’t appeal much to me. Sure, it worked great for them, especially with their young kids, but it wasn’t for me.

If you surf the Internet, you will find various definitions of staycation. Wikipedia says, it’s about staying at home and participating in leisure activities within day trip distance of your home that doesn’t require overnight accommodation. Merriam Webster says, it’s a vacation spent at home or nearby. Somewhere I also read, it’s a vacation close to your hometown or in your home country rather than travelling abroad. Merriam Webster has even traced the first usage of the word staycation and interestingly, it dates way back to the year 1944. So, the trend of staycation may not be as new as we think it is.

Take a Stay-cation instead of a Va-cation, this year.
— Cincinnati Enquirer, 18 July 1944

[Source: Merriam Webster]

My interpretation of staycation, based on what I see people around me doing, is staying at a hotel or resort in your home city. This felt like a weird concept to me. It was a complete waste of precious holiday time. Must be stemming from my acute love for the outdoors.

I have been told that staycation need not necessarily have to be limited to staying at a hotel or resort with your family and loved ones. It doesn’t have to be just an indoor activity. It could also include short drives and hikes in the surrounding areas. Well, isn’t it just another vacation then? My brain hurts, it’s confusing. Ah! It’s vacation when it’s another city, staycation when it’s the home city. I suppose I got it right. But, did I?

To add to my confusion, the tourism industry is abuzz with terminologies like workcation, homecation, daycation, and what not. While I was comparing, contrasting, and trying to make sense of these post-Covid travel terminologies, I found myself in the midst of a staycation.    

I had to visit Guwahati a couple of times during my extended stay at my home in Shillong. A few of my friends live in Guwahati but more often than not I have to miss meeting them because of competing priorities. There’s one friend though, who never misses to catch up with me each time I pass by Guwahati, even if it is for a few minutes. And, ironically, she happens to be the busiest of them all. This time, both of us had the luxury of a little more time – the afternoon of that day until forenoon, the next day. Incidentally, a common friend also happened to arrive at Guwahati that day. The three of us were meeting after a very long time and we had loads to catch up on. I presumed that we were going to spend most of the time at my friend’s home in Guwahati.

My friend threw up a big surprise by announcing that she had booked a room at a luxury hotel in Guwahati and that’s where we would put up for our time together. And, when three women are together after a very long gap what happens is anybody’s guess – talk nineteen to the dozen – an activity that’s completely in tune with the concept of staycation.

The impromptu staycation planned by my friend turned out to be the best decision. We got to spend such quality time with each other. All three of us were fully absorbed and completely focused on each other. There was no concern for food, no worries about tidying up the place, no diversion with anything or anybody interfering and taking away our time.

My maiden staycation turned out to be a lot of fun and quite an eye-opener too. Now, I can say with some authority that staycation sure has its merits. And, I learnt for the nth time to be open to ideas and not be opinionated or biased towards things that I haven’t experienced yet.

So absorbed we were with ourselves that we had no time for pictures, but here’s two for memory’s sake.

Author: neelstoria

Traveling, Gardening, Trekking, Hiking, Storytelling, Writing, Nature, Outdoors, Yoga, DIY

12 thoughts on “When Staycation Got Hold of Me”

  1. Quite interesting, Neel. I have never got around to imagine myself taking a staycation – at least the old definition of it, or what I thought was the definition of one! But come to think of it, the concept of a “handsfree” “me time” does have a good ring to it. Yet, give me the outdoors anyday. Ok… may be I will make an exception for a buddies hangout some day – as you said an open mind is the key. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nothing can ever compare to outdoors, and that’s not the outdoors of a resort of course 😀
      But it’s perfect for a short handsfree time, as you call it. The people you’re with will be the differentiating factor I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I, too, wasn’t interested in the concept of staycation. When I go on a holiday, I always yearn for an adventure, or a brief visit to somewhere new. I need to go out of where I stay. But then as the pandemic raged on, I began to see the appeal of staycation, although I have yet to do it myself. These days if someone asks me to go for a stay or two in the city where I live, I think I wouldn’t say no right away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The pandemic has changed the idea of vacation in many different ways. Staycation can now well be considered to be a mini-vacation. We did such things earlier also before pandemic, like day hikes nearby, but never really thought of those as vacations. Staycation is here is stay for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I consider ‘staycation’ is only a consolation. The real joy is when you step out of your city/town or village. If Covid type of situation arise, people have only one option i.e staycation !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Consolation – hahaha…great description to sum up staycation.
      Really like that Ramasamy Sir 😀
      Totally agree with you, enjoying a place in your own city or village hardly constitutes vacation

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We ought to reserve our thoughts till we experience it. Can’t say it’s true in all situations though but we do need to be aware of our unconscious biases. And, my apologies for the late response.

      Like

Leave a Reply to Narendra Nayak Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: