Usually when I think family vacation, I don't think, ahhhhhhhhhhhh. Maybe it's me. We don't family vacation the "resort" way. You know, in a hotel, where other's cook the food, make the beds, clean the rooms when you're away and leave fresh towels. We've mostly camped to and from our destinations, or stayed with extended family and friends. I adore my friends and family, but since when is staying in someone else's house or a campsite a vacation for a mother?
And really, is there such a thing as Family Vacation? A vacation is "a period of time devoted to pleasure, rest, or relaxation... suspending activities" according to thefreedictionary.com. It also says that family means, "all members of a household... who have long-term commitments to each other". I think that vacations should also add, "being away from home" otherwise, it's a party, not a vacation. By definition, so far, a family vacation is long-term committed members of a household sharing a period of time, suspending regular routines away from home, devoted to pleasure, rest, or relaxation. "Family Vacation" seems like an oxymoron by that definition. Much of the time, a family with children isn't restful or relaxing. And some of what goes on with families is needful, helpful, and satisfying but not necessarily pleasurable. There's more to "family" vacations.
Vacations are sometimes called "escapes" because of the pleasure seeking priority. We go on family vacations because of the people we're going with. Our intention is to be with them, not to escape them for the sake of pleasure. Those are different types of vacations. We want to strengthen our familial relationships, that's the point. With this in mind, family vacation can be define as long-term, committed members of a household sharing a period of time, suspending regular routines away from home, devoted to emotionally fortifying kinship through pleasure, rest, or relaxation.
Family Vacation Defined:
long-term committed, members of a household sharing a period of time,
suspending regular routines away from home,
devoted to emotionally fortifying kinship
through pleasure, rest, or relaxation
Why define "family vacation" anyway? Because definitions help clarify the meaning of something, which in turn, helps in the carrying out of something. Understanding the real purpose at the beginning of a family vacation makes all the difference about how you feel at the end of the family vacation. The reason will help guide everything around picking, preparing, and the process of being together.
It took me a while to get to the stage of enjoying family members on family vacations. It seems like an obvious distinction "family" vacation but in the family fray it was lost to me. Remembering that the whole point of the time together should be "devoted to emotionally fortifying kinship" guides me in a whole different way. A way that makes family vacations more awwwwwwwww than ughhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Watch for part 2 tomorrow.