A Vacation from My Vacation

Black and white photo of people walking in BostonI wouldn’t be nomadic if I didn’t move around a lot. For example, I’m currently in Mexico on a short vacation with some other travel bloggers. Yes, a vacation.

People think traveling full-time is a vacation in itself. But it’s not. It’s actually a lot of work, especially when you throw in running a blog. I’m always busy.

Ironically, a vacation for me is usually the exact opposite of what it is for most people. Instead of going away, I go home, eat at my favorite local restaurants, watch TV, and sleep, all the while catching up on the work I didn’t do while traveling.

I haven’t been able to even digest this trip home. It’s been somewhat of a whirlwind tour. I was in NYC for two days working out the details of my book deal, a friend from Australia passed through Boston, there was a big night out with high school friends, and now I’m in Mexico. I fly back to Europe for Oktoberfest on the 12th.

My peaceful “vacation” turned out to be busier than the last few weeks on the road!

But it’s been good not having to “travel.” It’s been good being in a place where I know where things are, where to eat, and what to do. I can relax a little bit. I don’t have to go out and sightsee. I’m not in a hostel dorm room. No one’s asking me the typical travel questions.

The only time my camera even came out was when I played tour guide to my Australian friend who was in town and wanted to see historic Boston. We did the Freedom Trail, ate some good food, and went out to enjoy the nightlife.

The George Washington statue in a park in BostonWe travelers don’t often play tourists in our own cities. In fact, the last time I explored Boston was 2008. But I really loved it. I took my friend on a guided walk of the Freedom Trail and learned so much about my city myself. I should do this more often.

As travelers, we like to go out and learn about the world “outside.” But we often forget to take advantage of what’s right in front of us in our hometowns or states or countries. We have great chances to learn about the history of where we’re from, as long as we’re willing to play tourist both abroad AND at home.

Takeaway: If you’re sad you can’t travel right now, go be a tourist in your own city. I bet you’ll see and learn a lot.

I was hoping to be able to get way ahead on writing my book and some blog posts while I was home, but that hasn’t happened at all. I’ll need another “vacation” somewhere soon.

Once I’m back in Europe on September 13th, I’ll be touring Germany and dressing up in lederhosen during Oktoberfest. I’m there for five very beer-fueled days before it’s off to explore Central Europe and then Japan before returning to one of my favorite places on earth: Thailand.

Until Thailand, it will be non-stop. But I’ve charged up the travel batteries over the last 10 days, and I’m ready once again to explore the world.

  1. Jan

    Hi Matt, Not much of a chance to veg out on your stay in Boston. I have been doing what you suggest in this post. While waiting for my website to be created I have started a facebook page, and as I am not traveling at the moment, I have been commenting on local attractions, namely a Jazz Festival and an outdoor art competition. Finding my feet and having a ball.

  2. Marlana

    Fun. Fun. Just discovered your blog. I’m a traveler from America, and I live in Thailand. ?????????????? Can you write Thai, too?

  3. DADI

    Very inspiring especially for a novice traveller like me who doesn’t have d budget to go far. In the process of touring around the place I am at right now, I am actually loving it here all the more. Singapore is no longer just a place for me to make money but it has been a witness of fun memories me and my son had and will be having! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I get what you mean :)

    After 4 months of non-stop hitching and camping/couchsearfing in Morocco, Portugal and Spain I really needed a break!

    But having been home for awhile now, I start to get itchy feet again and can’t wait to hit the road again :)

    Have fun in Germany!

  5. For people like me you are always in vacation..But good to know the reality…We need to work to survive always…Your concept of vacation is nice and exactly opposite to city dwellers!…Happy Oktoberfest to you..Enjoy while working!

  6. Great advice, Adam! Heather and I are back in Orlando after our 3-month stay in Berlin and looking forward to rediscovering our hometown. It takes effort because you have to ensure you don’t go stagnant when you’re location independent. It’s so easy to just let time pass because it feels unlimited when you live this kind of lifestyle.

  7. Hi Matt I understand how you feel when you travel for work you don’t get to experience the destination as a vacation. You are always looking at things through a camera. Thanks It is helpful to hear others say your thoughts.

    PS:I was quite happy to see you were vacationing in Mexico.

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