Midyear vacation is upon us, here's how to spend it guilt-free
By Hugh Upsher
Throughout my life, a day has rarely gone by where I haven’t thought to myself, “What if, instead of doing this, I could be at home doing nothing?” It’s a romantic thought that is far from practical, but I’ve never been able to effectively shake it off. Holidays are the time where that thought eventually comes into fruition, and in the face of your ultimate fantasy, you’re bored within hours. It turns out that masturbating followed by falling asleep while attempting to re-watch The Sopranos is not a fun pattern to repeat.
Once you realize that some action needs to be taken, you start looking at the goals you set for yourself before the holiday even started. Goal one: hang that painting that has been patiently leaning against the wall for two years. Goal two: avoid spending all your money on eating out within the first four days of your holiday. Goal three: finally hang out with that friend to whom you keep saying, “We should totally get a drink some time,” whenever you bump into them at the Pick ‘n Pay. Goal four: read that Game of Thrones book you insisted on borrowing from your friend four months ago.
The next stage is for you to overcompensate by making ambitious plans that seem doable, but neverthless come with a sense of dread that's based on the fact that you’d actually have to organize something in order for them to be carried out. I’ve wanted to drive out to do that Crystal Pools hike for about five years now, but I’ll be damned if I was the one who had to organise it. So instead you’ll just have to passively hope that you’re peer pressured into something that someone else organised, and hope it isn’t something awful. Like a silent disco.
Before you know it you’ll be halfway through your holiday, and panicking because it’s going by too quickly. There have been entire days where you haven’t changed out of your pajamas. Will this be the pinnacle of your existence on this earth? Will you be on your deathbed one day looking back and thinking, “I’m really glad I turned down that fun braai invite. Watching Adventure Time while eating fridge pizza by myself was a far more rewarding experience.” Of course you’ll think that.
At this point your Instagram is filled to the brim with other people’s majestic nature excursions and inspiring open-road adventures while you attempt to photograph your cat from an interesting new angle. That’s okay. If you left the house you probably would’ve never got around to watching those twenty-something YouTube videos explaining how racist Donald Trump is. You may also have missed out on spotting your neighbour brush their teeth in their underwear. And how else would you have been able to catch up on the sleep backlog you’ve built up, if you were dragged out to some "once in a lifetime" road trip of self-discovery?
The point I’m getting at is that there is no way to completely waste a holiday. If you have no plans and you followed through by not doing anything, then consider it mission accomplished. Embrace your unambitious side and unapologetically say to the world, "meh."