Vacation is about creating great experiences during your 4-6 weeks per year of holiday time that you are away. Staycation is about creating wonderful experiences (weeks, days, or even hours/minutes) during the 46-48 weeks that you are in town.
To me, staycation is a mindset. Staycation can happen at any time. Staycation can be a result of having a great meal and a great time at a local farmers’ market (thanks Junian @ Kaffir Lime Indonesian Food, see him cooks on YouTube here) that is right on the main Calgary roadway that tens of thousands of people drive by everyday (but only a small percentage will actually drive in)!
Staycation can be a great hike at a local park by the river or a nice walk/exercise around the neighbourhood. Staycation can be a simple dinner at a restaurant instead of going home and cook. OR If you eat out ALL the time, it can be going home to cook and share a simple dinner with your loved ones.
Here is a friend writing about her recent staycation in reply to my Facebook staycation status,
“We went hiking to nearby trails during the day, went shopping in Chinook, ate out in nice restaurants, watched a movie, read a book in the backyard, visited a relative, puttered around the garden, and at the end of the day…we slept in the comfort of our own beds. Stress free vacation!“
I believe staycation is a mindset that can lead to us living a happier life.
Of course, the time you spend doing household chores or answering work emails, etc can not honestly be counted as a staycation. But the time you spend in between can be. Like the staycation I mentioned above, it lasted for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Staycation is a mindset to enjoy and appreciate the various moments of life in town, at the same time as we are living a busy life. Like the saying “slow down and smell the roses”, I am saying life is a journey, try to live a more deliberate life and take many mini staycations.
I want to point out that I’ve defined Staycation as a mindset, which is different from the definitions, as of press time (Aug 16, 2011), you currently see in Wikipedia and Merriam-Webster. See this current July 29, 2011 version of Staycation in Wikipedia. In short, the definition of “staycation” has not been broadened to include a “mindset” yet. But I am a patient man and don’t mind waiting a little for the dictionaries/definitions to catch up. :)