We are currently sitting in an apartment in Athens soaking up the air conditioning. The only thing we’ve done today is walk down the street to a nearby cafe for lunch. Tonight we might go out again for dinner. Or we might not. We may just stay in and watch Netflix, and that is okay.
For the past month we’ve taken a vacation from traveling. We had family meet up with us in Rome. It was incredible that our family was able to spend some time with us on this trip. It was even more amazing that they offered to let us join their tours for the ten days they were in Rome. We saw more of the sights in Rome than we have probably seen in any other city we’ve visited. It also highlight some of the differences between going on vacation and traveling long term.
For one thing, on vacation I would never spend a day sitting around the house watching Netflix. Even on a relaxing vacation (like our trip to the Dominican Republic last year) we spent our time relaxing by the pool or at the beach, not in our hotel room. But when you are traveling long term sometimes a day of Netflix is necessary.
Travel also takes a lot more on-the-go work. Usually a vacation is pretty short, which means you can plan it all in advance. You can know what you are doing each day and how to get there and maybe have even have everything booked in advance so you have nothing to do but explore. When you are traveling for over a year that is simply not possible. There is a lot of work that has to be done on the road. Last week, for instance, we had to apply for our Russian visas. A vacation, in my experience, doesn’t usually involve a day of getting passport photos, filling out an application, and sitting in the waiting room of a government office building. That, my friends, is the stuff of long-term travel. Glamorous, I know.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I don’t think that one is necessarily better than the other, but they are different. We enjoyed being on vacation for a little while, but it wore us out. We are glad to get back into our travel routine.
Which do you prefer, a vacation or a long term trip?