Using Vacation as an Escape? Time to Look at your “Real Life.”

by Dani Fake Webb on May 19, 2010

Just this past Sunday I returned home from a magnificent vacation. My husband surprised me for my fortieth birthday with a Caribbean cruise. We sailed through the western Caribbean, exploring the ports of Grand Cayman, Cozumel (my favorite), Costa Maya (Mexico) and Roatan (Honduras).

It was beautiful, wonderful, magnificent – the things that memories are made of. What a phenomenal way to usher in the second half of life!  (And yes, I just ended a sentence with a preposition. And I’m ok with that. I think forty gives you that right. Ha!)

In addition to having some wonderful experiences on this cruise, I also spent some time with my contemplative side. As the vacation wrapped up, I began to wonder.


Amidst the forlorn sighs of vacationers returning from the cruise, I began to wonder.

Upon hearing the laments of fellow cruisers as the journey came to a close, I began to wonder.

After tolerating the complaining of people on a beautiful vacation, I began to wonder.

I began to wonder why people were so sad for vacation to end. Was it just wanting more of a good thing? Or was it a dread to return to the routine of life?

I heard more than one reference to having to now return to “real life.” But the way I see it, every moment of every day is “real life.” Whether it’s cleaning up the dog poop you found while gone on vacation (dang it!), doing laundry, getting that article written, or laying on a white sand beach….it’s all “real life.”

Now, I know that some people see vacation as an escape from “real life.” But what if “real life” was such that you didn’t want to escape it? What if vacation was simply a rest, rejuvenation and adventure as opposed to escape?

Not everyone who is sad vacation is ending is dissatisfied with life. But I am willing to bet that several of my fellow cruisers were indeed sad to return to parts of life that they do not love.

I found myself hoping that they would see their sadness (and at times bad attitudes!) as a pointer from their Authentic Selves. I found myself hoping that they would use the joy of vacation to help them recognize they could have that same joy in their routine life. I found myself hoping they would be motivated to take the steps necessary to create a life they love.

After all, if they create a life they love, they won’t need to escape.


How about you? Do you need to escape with a vacation? Consider this:

1) If you were wrapping up a dream vacation, how would you feel about returning to these areas of your life?

* Friends and Family

* Significant Other

* Career

* Spiritual

* Financial

* Health

* Fun & Play

* Physical Environment

* Personal Growth

2) For those areas that gave you a negative feeling, what is keeping you from loving each of these areas?

* Money

* Time

* Fear

* Expectations

* “Shoulds”

* Kids

* Partner

* Depression

Here’s the good news. Every one of the excuses items listed in #2 can be overcome. Each of them boils down to your thoughts and perspectives about the things you think are holding you back.

Disclaimer: Now, please don’t hear me saying that life is easy and you should be able to just make it better. I am not saying that at all. But I am saying that each area of your life can be a little better than it is. And I am not saying that the barriers listed in #2 above are not valid – quite the contrary – they are very valid. But I am saying they do not need to hold you back from creating a life you love!

It is easy? Oh no. Is it worthwhile? Oh yes.

I certainly understand how my fellow cruisers would be sad for vacation to end. It made me wonder what they had to go back to. And it made me sad to think of anyone going back to a life they did not love.


* If you could go on a dream vacation, what would be your motivation? Rest? Adventure? Or escape?

* If the answer is “escape,” why? What do you want to escape?

* How do you think you would feel coming back? Which areas of your life make you feel the dread upon your return?

* What is making those areas of your life less than ideal? (See list #2 above.)

* What small step can you take to improve one area of your life?

I’d love to hear your ideas about the baby steps that can be taken to improve specific areas of life. What are your ideas?

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: