What’s More Relaxing–Going Away or Staying Home?

ptown-buddhaPhoto by Anya Weber.

My friend Kavita listens to heavy metal music when she’s getting a massage, because it helps her relax. This taught me something: serenity is subjective.

This extends to how we take vacation. My friends divide into two camps. Some have a strong preference for going away somewhere, and others prefer to stay home.

The first group might be called the Away Gamers. For them, leaving home makes the stress of everyday life melt away. There are no bills to pay, no visual reminders of their job or household tasks. They just get to play and have fun.

For Away Gamers, having a “stay-cation” (a few days to spend time at home) is stressful. They wind up cleaning the house and doing errands, and when it’s time to go back to work they don’t feel rested at all.

The second group is the one I belong to. Call us the Homers. For us, being at home is relaxing in itself. We love having an open schedule and being in control of our surroundings, knowing that we’ll be comfortable.

It’s not that Homers don’t like to explore. But travel is not a restful experience. While it may be thrilling, it entails a loss of control and requires a high level of planning.

Although I’m a Homer, I also know that pushing myself to travel feels wonderful. It stretches me in a way that staying at home just doesn’t. I turned 40 recently, and traveled to Provincetown, MA, where I took the Buddha photo at the top of this post.

Now I’m wrapping up two serene and lovely days of stay-cation at home. Ahhh.

What about you? Are you a Homer or an Away Gamer? Why?