“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
Now read that phrase again and nod gravely as you let its wisdom sink in.
I’m pretty sure the 17th-century mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal wasn’t thinking of last-minute Airbnb trips to Mallorca when he wrote those words. Then again, maybe he was.
After all, vacations have a tendency to spin out of control faster than you can say dos cervezas, por favor. And I’m not just talking lost luggage here. From iffy accommodation and elaborate tourist scams to unfortunate encounters with the local fauna: the list of things that could go horribly wrong is endless. It should be no surprise then that the rather official-sounding Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory ranks going on vacation as one of the most stressful life events, along with divorce, job loss, trouble with the in-laws and sexual difficulties. Go figure.
Unfortunately, there is also a less trivial side to our “inability to sit quietly in a room alone”. Climate groups have calculated that any single long-haul flight instantly uses up your individual carbon emission allowance of two to four tons per year. Chew on that next time you’re sipping cocktails under a palm tree.
So, what to do? Should we just forget about that well-deserved trip and spend our annual leave holed up at home?
Well, if you value your mental health, your pocketbook and those pretty glaciers, the answer to that question can only be ‘yes’. The good news is that staying home doesn’t have to be as terrible as it sounds. On the contrary. With the following tips, it may just turn out to be the best vacation ever.
1 – Be a local tourist.
Ever wondered about those happy-faced tourists and day-trippers visiting your area? Guess what. They’re probably having a good time! Follow them around to find out what’s so interesting. Or better yet, sign up for a walking tour. It’s a great way to see that dreary old town of yours in a new light.
2 – Relax to the max.
Now that you’re on vacation, you’re officially released from the obligation to clean up after yourself. Pro tip: hire someone to do this for you. That should leave you with lots of time to do the things you enjoy the most, whether it’s sleeping in till 4 pm, taking your bike out for a spin or playing Mortal Kombat X until your fingers go numb.
3 – Treat yourself.
That money you’re saving by not booking a flight to whatever place it is that currently tops your bucket list? Spend it. Well, maybe not all of it, but give yourself the five-star luxury treatment. Soak your body and soothe your soul at your local spa, or book a table at that swanky place you’ve been meaning to try. And hey – dress up for the occasion!
4 – See some wildlife.
Staying home is the best way to not be that guy who goes on an expensive whale-watching cruise and then completely misses the giant humpback whale surfacing right in front of him because he happens to be texting a friend. I mean, stuff like that adds to your stress levels, man. Just fire up Netflix, watch Planet Earth and marvel at the wonders of nature in glorious HD.
5 – Share your epic #staycation pics on social media.
We all know being on vacation means that at some point you’re supposed to jump in the air as high as you can, have your picture taken and share the delightful result on social media. Doing this in your living room may prove slightly more difficult than on a tropical beach. Be careful not to knock over any stray beer cans and wear your ketchup-stained PJs for that extra touch of authenticity. #yay #livingthegoodlife #noplacelikehome
So there you have it: our mini-guide to utter holiday bliss in the comfort of your own home. Feel free to print it out and tack it on your fridge if you think it might help you battle your Skyscanner addiction.
Mr. Pascal thanks you.