“holiday”- “vacation”… Whatever!

@wtl, my DH, has often said something along the lines of when we take a break, it’s for resting, not doing.  And I think he even broke down the differences in his  own personal views of  the terms, “holiday” and “vacation” – but I couldn’t find it easily on his blog, so I’ll just ramble on with my own thoughts!  He can add his later in the comments 😉

ON my walk this morning – lovely August morning at 17 degrees Celsius with a fair breeze to keep me cool – I was in heaven! – I started to think about the words: holiday and vacation, and wished I could just create a blog post in my mind and send it out from there!  Maybe some day….

Defining things a bit:

Holiday: |ˈhäliˌdā|

  • noun: a day of festivity or recreation when no work is done : December 25 is an official public holiday.
  • [as adj. ] characteristic of a holiday; festive : a holiday atmosphere.• chiefly Brit. (often holidays) a vacation : I spent my summer holidays on a farm | Fred was on holiday in Spain.
  • verb [ intrans. ] :chiefly Brit.spend a holiday in a specified place : he is holidaying in Italy.
  • ORIGIN Old English hāligdæg [holy day.]

Vacation: |vāˈkā sh ən; və-|

  • noun: an extended period of recreation, esp. one spent away from home or in traveling : he took a vacation in the south of France | people come here on vacation
  • [as adj. ] a vacation home.• a fixed holiday period between terms in schools and law courts.2 the action of leaving something one previously occupied : his marriage was the reason for the vacation of his fellowship.
  • verb [ intrans. ]take a vacation : I was vacationing in Europe with my family.
  • ORIGIN late Middle English : from Old French, or from Latinvacatio(n-), from vacare ‘be unoccupied’ (see vacate ).

Pretty similar concepts.

I like the idea that vacation comes from Old French/ Latin – “to be unoccupied”.  Considering the time I spend in my brain, does that mean I actually will be vacating that cerebral space while on my break?  Probably not, but definitely exiting certain areas and visiting others in there for sure!

And holiday – a day where no work is done.  That’s where I am headed as well.

Hmmm… maybe based on the classic definitions, it’s merely whatever word you prefer to use, and then choosing your own definition of the break you are taking.

Ambiguous and Wishy-Washy that!

Well, my break will include much of nothing.  And the smatterings of doing will contrast with the extended periods of nothing.

Balance is what I am always seeking, in everything I do, and I think balance in my vacation/holiday will come pretty naturally.

I find an ever present spark of guilt gets me up and moving, and moments of self preservation offset it with a demanding whine that lets me stop and relax for at least a while!

And it takes a lot of work to take a break, whether it’s simply having friends over to visit, or actually taking time off and getting away from it all.

There are always preparations on so many levels and when camping is involved, you cannot let yourself slide into relaxation mode before the tents are set up and ready to house you for X days/weeks etc.

If you relax too quickly, and let things slide [ ie. don’t put the tarps up] that’s when the rain will hit and then everyone suffers.  But put em up right away and it’s all good!WTL used to try to interrupt the momentum that carries me through to the end of any given preparation, now he just does his own thing and keeps up, stepping aside when I am in full steam ahead mode so that he does not get run over!  As do our friends who have camped with us and are there for either set up or take down 🙂 and of course: 

XKCD comics are most funny

I am actually writing this to help in keeping the momentum flowing …

We still have things to do to get ready for our trip, including trips to see both of our parental units and errands, and last minute tying up of loose ends!  And of course Sunday Brunch before our first real journey begins!

How do you define the breaks you take to recharge, reevaluate, and rejuvenate your spirit/body/mind?

Do you find it more important to go out a do things  – try new activities, explore new places, be out and active, when you take a break from your daily life?

Or do you seek peace and quiet, finding somewhere comfortable and relaxing, where you can simply be, with no pressure to be “doing” anything at all?

What began as a journey into defining what’s a holiday and what’s a vacation, evolved into some fun with Google Images – thanks to everyone out there who tags their photos so that silly folk like me can borrow them for their blogs!

Gonna go run some errands now!


2 thoughts on ““holiday”- “vacation”… Whatever!

  1. As someone who has a great deal of difficulty “vacating”, I’m glad to see that it can be done! I truly enjoyed the silly, rambling, pre-vacation post.

  2. This is an excellent post. Thanks Tracey.
    To answer your question… I do like to define the difference between a Holiday (holy-day) and a Vacation. To me this is the separation:
    1 – a holiday is a day that makes a long weekend or single day off work, as in statutory holiday. These are simply a day when I might be able to sleep in and get stuff done.
    2 – a vacation is several days in a row when I go somewhere, anywhere, away from home. Going somewhere else means that there is no guilt about not getting things done because I’m not there to do them. Like you I want to take a break from portions of my brain and go visiting in parts thereof that I don’t often get time for. It is a time of inertia… in a hammock, beach chair or on a beach blanket usually. Moving only when necessary or in order to avoid muscle atrophy or to make and consume food.

    Camping vacation always begins and ends with much activity and planning that is absolutely essential to a relaxing camping experience. I also like to travel for vacation and actually ENJOY driving. I find that a long drive of 4-16 hours at the start of a vacation has the effect of ‘taking me away’ and it relaxes me. I know this is where you and I part company 😉 I have spent many vacations driving long distances and driving daily… if I had a car I’d go for a drive out of town every weekend.

    It is my belief, based on personal experience, that it is easier to ‘vacate’ when one is really comfy with their self. I love to be alone… truly alone. I do not feel ‘at risk’ when alone and never have. I can sit for hours all alone in silence and meditate (or nap) or read and be quite happy with that. I’ve come to realize it is a rare gift and I thank the Universe for it every day. When one is alone the most magical things will happen. I’ve had a lot of amazing close encounters with wildlife that would not have happened if I’d been with more people chatting. I’ve also had many life altering epiphanies during alone time.

    Having said that, this year I cannot afford a full vacation so I’ve been doing a semi-staycation (unemployment) and will vacate to join T2 for a short camping vacation. Joining you guys is often like vacating alone because we camp well ‘together’… we are all happy with long periods of silence, napping/meditating in hammocks, hiking, canoeing, etc. And none of us gets offended when other(s) want to go off alone. We also enjoy similar ‘together’ activities like the hike/bike/canoe to Ice Cream.

    So I am starting my planning for 4days and 3 nights of vacation camping and look forward to my time at Camp T2.


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