Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Revisiting my Vacation Goal

Good goals are flexible and change with the person who's made them.  That's not an excuse to leave your plan in the dust at every bump in the road, however, it is a good reason to revisit what your goals are and why you want to reach them.

Since mid October I have had the goal to "Take a big backpacking trip solo" and I have been faithfully saving the cash to do so each month and not taking a single day of vacation (if I'm paying to fly some where I want as many days in that spot as I can.)  I've been hemming and hawing over this goal for a while now and I'll take you through my "Goal Revisiting" process.  

What was my original motivation?

-Escape.  When I first started dreaming of travel my life was falling apart.  While the job I was working was sometimes interesting it also included bouts of tedious work and one of my boss's was particularly aggravating.  The place that I worked looked like a cross between my old high school and the prison I worked at for 4 months.  I was isolated by the fact that there was no one else with my rank there the majority of the time, my good boss was frequently traveling, and I could go several days in a row without actually talking to someone.  I truly wanted to be any place else for a number of months.

-Down time.  Every one needs a bit of downtime, and I hadn't had any for a while.

-Learning.  I wanted to visit other cultures and historic sights.  They say you learn twice the amount of stuff about yourself while traveling as you do at home.  I wanted to put this to the test.

-See amazing sights.  I have a list of things that I want to see, to take in the grandeur, marvel at things that are truly one of a kind.

-Fill the status quo.  I have several friends/relatives who are about my age who have gone backpacking and spent weeks in exotic locals.  It seems to be the thing that a 20 something does before settling down.

Are these motivations still relevant?

-Escape, not at all.  I'm at a great place and feel no need to leave it all behind or to get free.  I am no longer desperate to be anywhere else except for here.

-Down time.  I do still need some but don't necessarily need to go some where else to achieve it.

-Learning.  I always want to learn more.  But there are a hundred different ways to learn.  Add to that the fact that my grandfather has offered to teach me some new hands on skills if I help out for a week around his cottage.  I don't need to jump on an airplane to learn something valuable.

-See amazing sights.  Thinking back some of the most amazing sights I have ever seen have been of my countries natural beauty.  I remember holding perfectly still as a loon swam no more than 4 meters away from me, or watching the sun rise an set away from the crush of humanity.  There may be majestic sights abroad but there are just as many in my back yard.

-Fill the status quo, I can't believe I was measuring myself!  I'm only human sometimes but stepping back and taking another look gave me another perspective.  Sure I'd love to see all the things that they've seen that said I could spend my life looking at every single sight another human has seen.  Just because someone else has seen it instead of me doesn't mean that it is a better sight than what I've taken in.

The thing is that I can hit all my still relevant motivations by staying near home and spending less money.  Add to that the fact that all the vacations that I have truly enjoyed I have enjoyed because I have spent it with people I care about.  I can't get that backpacking solo.

I'm not saying I will never do it, but at the moment I am happy to go for a simpler and less costly vacation.  As a result I am going to use up my saved vacation days by taking a week off in August to go to my Grandparent's cottage and the remaining days I will use to take off one day a week for the months of September and October allowing me to still be working full time while doing my Masters and keeping my pay from falling for another couple weeks.  As for the money I have saved thus far, a grand total of $1,404.68 I am planning on moving that to my House Payments account and using it for part of my yearly 10% payment.

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