Why Vacation. Can you even believe I'm writing this page? I can't. But my research is suggesting it is necessary. Forest Gump was pretty smart about the common sense things we tend to lose sight of.
According to an article I found on the internet in Vegetarian Times, Brooks Gump, Ph,D, of the State University of New York at Oswego, has come along and reinforced common sense with research, "We concluded that skipping vacations could actually be dangerous to your health.
Why vacation? They found that men who vacation every year reduce their overall risk of death by about 20%, and reduce their risk of death from heart disease by about 30%! This was no small study. While it did not include women (?), they included 12,000 men ages 35-57 over a five year period.
They were shocked to find that some of the men surveyed didn't take any vacation time over the entire FIVE year period! Their "reward"? These men suffered the highest overall death rate and highest incidence of heart disease of any of the participants!
Well duh! I, and the other people in the world who have figured out that vacationing is like breathing, could have told you this! One story I particularly adore is of a couple who retired early here in Vancouver.
He was a RCMP (yup, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police -- you can still actually see them riding horses around town from time to time, but they only wear the handsome red uniform for special ceremonies and such), and she was a nurse.
His best friend who was also on the force suddenly died of a heart attack -- he was only 57. He and his wife were shocked into action. They both immediately turned in their resignations, flew to Australia, rented an RV and traveled up the west coast for a year!
Now you may not be ready to resign, but it's all about balance, right? Why vacation? Balance. I've discovered a refreshing website I'm enjoying reading right now about balance in your life. It's a quick escape, I suppose, to a place of reflection.
It may even change your point of view on why you should vacation beyond your own health! Check this out. It speaks of wanderlust vs. travel spirit. Balance. I love the sign Einstein had in his Princeton office, "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
Why vacation? Another study I found on the internet at MEDLINE done by the Department of Physiology at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria concluded that, "Recuperation was facilitated by free time for one's self, warmer (and sunnier) vacation locations, exercise during vacation, good sleep and making new acquaintances, especially among vacationers reporting higher levels of pre-vacation work strain."
You know the really scary part? Especially in the US, people are afraid to take their vacations. They're the ones I really had to write this Why Vacation page for! It's like one of those unspoken taboos, 'if you want to move up, don't move from your desk!" I'm not just making this up. You know what I'm talking about, right?
Yet another study I found on the internet at the PRNewswire done by Oxford Health Plans, Inc., concluded that one in six US employees is so overworked he/she can't even use up annual vacation time and Americans have the least vacation time in the industrialized world!
The US average vacation time is 13 days per year, while every other industrialized country is 25 days or better!
It's true! When I moved here to Vancouver, BC I was surprised at all of the official holidays. There is a noticeable difference in the attitude towards holidays and vacationing, and Canadians do significantly more international travel than Americans.
There's much more of a global awareness here -- well, Vancouver is like the U.N., though, so that is bound to be the case! I see it as a very positive and important thing. Just goes to show that attitude is everything! It is a choice.
Overall, though, I think we all tend to forget how important our vacations are for our health and well-being and the well-being of our families and love relationships.
I've found some other sites that might help you with making more vacation choices:
http://www.kid-friendly-family-vacations.com Family Vacations do not have to be run of the mill....Shake up the routine and have fun.
http://www.mission-mom.com Parent advice, recipes, business resources and ideas for stay home moms.
http://www.frugal-living-tips.com Find out how to live a happier frugal life and how to avoid those money worries.
Now go out and play!
Tired of being overworked? Go to Take Back Your Time!
Giving Back Has Never Been So Much Fun! Go to Volunteer Vacations
Why Vacation? Now you know, so see Lodging Facts to start on your way to First Class Dirt Cheap Vacations!