I can now officially check one thing off of my bucket list: visiting LA, California. Although I still have on my bucket list many other visits to California for multiple different reasons, I can still feel the high from being near the Pacific, and the low that my perfect five day vacation is over.
Although LA itself wasn’t my cup of tea, I fell head over heels for the bright, clean beaches, and the clear blue water. Santa Monica in particular made me gush with excitement and awe. Everywhere you looked was straight off of a postcard or a movie. I was captivated.
Although I still have a few years to lay out the rest of my life, this vacation was definitely eye opening. To say the least, this vacation was exactly what I needed at this point of my life.
So, here is why I 10/10 recommend & would take again, a personal vacation:
1) To Enjoy yourself
Coming home from a tough semester at school was great. After finishing 16 credit hours of rigorous work, assistant directing an all-star play, helping to put on a fashion show, fighting a mystery condition, and running in a campaign, I could feel the energy completely drained from my body. If you were to google emotionally & physically drained, a photo of me after that last month of school would pop up: me, laying on the couch, with my dog, sleeping off the flu. I had never before felt so relieved to be home in Pickerington, in my own house, alone.
That all lasted about a month.
After a month of being back I began to feel stuck, like this no longer belonged. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and my bed and the comfort of my own room and all of my friends here in Pickerington, but I also realized quickly that Pickerington is not where I’m needed anymore, it’s not where I’m meant to be. That’s the point where I started to lose joy in my everyday life. I couldn’t find that same happiness that I had when I first returned home. Add on incessant rain, and I became miserable.
This trip changed that.
I was able to get out of the funk that the monotony of being home brought me – that feeling of not having a purpose drifted away, and I was to look at myself and be happy. I was able to find a purpose in my life, that purpose being my future. Although LA might not be what my future holds, it was none the less an eye opening experience. I was reminded why I’ve been pushing myself so hard in school. I was reminded that this push is what will get me my dream home in Santa Monica or that internship in NYC.
And not only that, but I found happiness in the small things. Like looking out over a vast ocean, being able to buy a pair of Chuck Taylor’s, meeting new, lovely people, and enjoying the company of a great friend. This vacation allowed me to enjoy myself, and my life, again.
2) Take a break from work/school
FACT: We all need, and deserve, a break. Sometimes we just need a week to get away from the craziness of our jobs or schoolwork, or from our families who can begin to drive us mad. I strongly believe that a break is needed for one to keep, and enjoy, their sanity, and I definitely noticed this.
Yes, I thought about school, but not in a stressful manner, and yes I thought about work, but only when it was brought up in conversation. It wasn’t something that lingered in the back of my mind, a ticking sound that wouldn’t disappear.
My mind was able to clear itself out, I was able to think about things that weren’t work or school related, and instead, I was able to enjoy what was going on around me. I was able to clear my mind and focus on other important things that didn’t always get my attention because of my obligations.
Because of this, I was finally able to finish reading Gone Girl – and let me just tell you, it was brilliant.
3) Get away from home
I feel as if I’ve finally reached the age where I can leave home for a few days to get away, and it be alright. Necessary, even. And by home don’t just mean my little suburban home on the border of Pickerington, but Pickerington, and even Columbus, in general. I mean, even getting out of Ohio was a breath of fresh air (this incessant rain is killing my vibe, quite frankly).
Some people like monotony, and that’s fine, great even; but for those who need a change of pace to be able to relax, leaving your comfort zone of your city, state even, is exactly what you need.
I was able to escape the same page that I continued to try to rewrite without it sounding monotonous and repetitive, and I was able to write in something new. Home is a wonderful, truly lovely place to be, but stepping out of one’s comfort zone can also be just as lovely, wonderful, and exciting.
4) Experience new things
Before this trip, the furthest west I had traveled was to Indiana. The furthest I had traveled in general was to Florida; but I was six at the time, and my memory is already pretty faulty. So you could say I lack slightly in my travel experiences. Last summer I not only rode on a plane for the first time, but I took the opportunity to go to NYC as well; and ever since then I look forward to the next adventure I am able to take.
So you could say I was pretty amped when I was given the opportunity to go to California – an adventure that was to surpass any travel experience I could remember. It definitely met, and exceeded, my expectations.
I can now say that I have experienced California (well, LA at least); but I can officially add that to my resume of conversation topics and adventures. And not only that, but in general, I feel more well rounded. I strongly believe that experiencing new and different things opens up ones gauge of understand not only people, but our world.
Seeing how other people live outside of your own lifestyle is very important to becoming a productive, well rounded, successful human being – experiencing new things is what opens our minds & hearts. Whether it be taking a trip up to a lake or beach near you, going on a camping excursion a few states away, or taking a nationwide road trip, I greatly suggest trying something new on your personal vacation.
No matter what you would define as your perfect personal vacation, I highly suggest adding onto your intinery something that you have never done before. In the end, you will have a new story to tell, and something to add onto your list of life experiences. Push your limits and open up your zone of comfort. Trust me, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Honestly, the most important reason to take a personal vacation is to just, take a deep breath in, now out, relax. In our every day lives we can eat ourselves up over the what-ifs, the how-comes, the why-nots, the yada-yada-yada-whatever that fills our brains up and doesn’t allow us to fall asleep at night.
We become so wrapped up in our obligations, that we forget to take a moment to enjoy ourselves, and to remind ourselves that we deserve to take a break, to enjoy life and the world around us. This monotony of life doesn’t have to consume us, we are allowed to take a step away from our jobs every once in a while, have a moment of serenity, and then jump back into things. I find that this can help continue to push us towards our goals, as a moment is sometimes exactly what we need to remind ourselves of what we want and where we want to go.
So the next time you get a moment, relax, sit back, and plan something for yourself. Whether that be to your favorite restaurant with a good friend, or to a vacation that takes to the other side of country, do something for yourself because you want to, need it, and deserve it.