Fear of Boredom on Vacation ?

I am watching too many Van Dwelling videos on You Tube. While watching this type of video, I get worked up and excited about van dwelling on my own.

Then I stumbled on this video.

I have done my fair share of camping with a pull behind tent camper. So, I have some experience ‘camping’. Of course, this always included the wives and kids. I don’t know if this compares with ‘van dwelling’ by definition. Probably not.

I have spent a few nights backpacking. Most of those episodes where solo. Backpacking is probably closer to van dwelling as it is minimal in nature whereas the pull-behind-tent-camper is not minimal. It could be but it wasn’t in my experience.

I have this romantic notion of van dwelling, believing it to be free of distress and full of adventure. Most of the van dwelling videos I watch portray that impression. And that’s ok. I want to watch the fun stuff, the exciting stuff, the cute girls, the food, the campfires, the people.

But I can’t imagine van dwelling is all glamour all the time. Certainly there are dull moments, moments that are not fun. Certainly there are moments that are scary.

While watching the number of van dwelling videos that I do, I wonder if these people get bored. I ask, how can you get bored while van dwelling, camping in these wonderful parks and camp grounds, hiking these unique trails and taking awesome photo and video.

I think about driving to North Dakota. I outline all the places I want to see. I imagine all the awesome photos I can take, the fun I can experience. Certainly I can’t be bored on vacation. Yet, the fear of boredom on vacation sort of pulls back my enthusiasm for a North Dakota vacation, even a van dwelling life.

Aspen Trees and a boulder. Fuji photo taken by Dave 0 on June 18, 2015 on the Whitney Lake Trail in the Holy Cross Wilderness, near Red Cliff, Colorado.
Aspen Trees and a boulder. Fuji photo taken by Dave 0 on June 18, 2015 on the Whitney Lake Trail in the Holy Cross Wilderness, near Red Cliff, Colorado.

Why Can’t I Go?

Go West Young Man. A bill board advertising an Eiteljorg film series. Photo taken by Dave O with the Nikon W300, July 2018.

Go West Young Man. A bill board advertising an Eiteljorg film series. Photo taken by Dave O with the Nikon W300, July 2018. Should I go?

Maybe one could explain this complexity for me?

In my youth I had a driving wonder lust. I couldn’t wait to get out and explore. It started by exploring creeks and cemeteries and the local neighborhoods I could walk or bike to. When I could drive places were no longer far away. Indiana State Parks became a favorite destination. Sometimes those trips became overnighters but they were usually long day trips.

When I first married and the kids started appearing, the wonder lust didn’t fade. Family camping, “auto hiking” (a self coined term to describe ‘driving’ to strange and new places as my wife at that point in my life didn’t care to ‘hike’ in the traditional way) and backpacking were activities I faithfully and consistently engaged in.

As the first wife left and the second wife came home with two more kids, family camping took a prominent place in our family travels. Colorado, South Dakota, Kentucky, Florida were some of the states we went to. Pricey beach vacation were also thrown into the travel itinerary.

But, as the kids grew up and left to live their own lives and as the second wife left to live her own I find myself alone and unrestricted.

Yet, I can’t seem excite the wonder lust I had in my youth.

It’s become a topic of discussion (or maybe concern) with friends and family. They don’t understand why I talk about flying or driving to far away destinations for a long weekend or a week long vacation, see  my excitement at the thought of wondering about  and listen to my ideas and list of things-to-do and then witness the scheduled dates come and go and my lack of follow through.

They say “you have nothing holding you back.”

And I don’t.

Yet I don’t go.

My scheduled work vacation this year is July 30 – August 3. It’s a typical five day work week vacation but if you add the weekends before and aft then the vacation expands into nine days.

That is enough time to drive to Colorado and take a few photos, is it not? Enough time to do almost everything I planned to do, that I listed on my detailed itinerary I created months ago where I listed mileage and routes and campgrounds and National Parks and towns and mountains I wanted to visit and climb.

Yet, I’m on the verge of pulling the plug and canceling those vacation days and continue life by working through that week as normal.

Ugh.

I hope I still go.

As a post script, in June 2015, I did take a week’s vacation to Colorado. It was a great time of hiking and sight seeing and driving to strange and new places.

If you look close you can my little red 2000 Honda Civic EX. And next to the Civic is the 3 Corners at Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas. Photo taken by Dave O, June 2015.

If you look close you can my little red 2000 Honda Civic EX. And next to the Civic is the 3 Corners at Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas. Photo taken by Dave O, June 2015.

 

 

 

Vacation Day

I took a vacation day, yesterday, June 19, 2018.

I didn’t go to work. Of course, it’s a vacation day — why go to work. Instead, I took a friend to the hospital for tests and sat with her during the day. It was not a bad day, nor a boring day. In fact it was a great day.

The tests were done by mid afternoon. We picked up lunch and went back to her apartment. We watched the Great Gatsby movie and took a short nap. Then, it was a tour of a mutual friend’s new home. An amazing home which needs some minor renovation. If I were a younger and motivated man, I would have snatched up the home.

On the 86 mile drive home, I reflected on vacation and vacation days.

In the past, while married to Nikki, vacations were scheduled, planned and organized by Nikki. Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Tennessee, New Mexico were common destinations.

After Nikki left I’ve taken a few vacation:

  • Colorado 2015
  • Jackson Mississippi 2016

There wasn’t a vacation in 2017.

Although I should clarify the Jackson Mississippi vacation was just a long weekend (Friday – Sunday) of driving to and from Jackson Mississippi with a stop in Vicksburg. But the Colorado 2015 was a true week long vacation.

Each year, I am allowed 15 days of vacation from the company I work at. It’s an earn benefit, meaning that you have to put the time in to ‘earn’ the vacation time, which can’t be taken until the following calendar year and the days do not accumulate. Technically, I’m allow two weeks of vacation and then five individual days per year.

Last year, I took four days of vacation. Each day was an individual day. I did stuff around the house or went to doctor appointments. Those days did not seem like ‘vacation’. They seemed more like an extra Saturday.

My definition of vacation is to ‘do something that you would not ordinarily do while at home’.

For 2018, I have a conceived a potential week long vacation plan to drive through southern Colorado, to the Four Corners and then back home. It’s about a three thousand mile road trip according to Google maps. It would be a good time to ‘car dwell’, meaning that I would sleep and ‘live’ in my Honda for the duration.

Recently, I bought a book (Planning an Epic road Trip on any Budget) from the 365 Days of Marriage blog. This blog encourages you to ‘Dream Big’ … which I need at this time in my life. Hopefully my conceived Colorado road trip of 2018 becomes an Epic Road trip!

Always thought about work camping as a means to make a living. Photo taken by Dave O June 2015.

Always thought about work camping as a means to make a living. Photo taken by Dave O June 2015.