Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Why Do People Go On Vacation?

Ever wonder why we go on vacation?

Maybe we like the drive? I mean, at first it was nice. We commented on the beautiful trees, mountains, water on clouds. We got an easy mitzvah saying "Ma Rabu Ma'asecha Hashem." But at a certain point, the trees start to blend together into a mush, the water starts looking murky, and the clouds burst and release a torrential downpour onto the very road which you are driving on. So you think to yourself, "it can't be the drive. That's just a means to the destination."
Many long hours of traveling finally brings you to your (rather nice) hotel. Perhaps this is the reason I am on vacation, to relax in a comfortable hotel room. So we unload the car, shlep the luggage up through the elevator into our room, and start to fight. When I was younger, and I was traveling with my family, the entrance into our hotel room would be like this: mad dash into the room. Everyone scrambles for something. One of us grabs the mini soaps and shampoos, another grabs the pad and pen imprinted with the hotel name, and the rest pout all night because they weren't quick enough to get any freebies. Thankfully, we have grown past those days. Tonight, we made a mad dash into our hotel room and staked out the better beds. Being a real talmid of Aharon Hakohen, I took the pull out sofa, which is probably part of the reason I am sitting on this chair at the computer instead of sleeping in a comfortable queen bed. Either way, I don't think the hotel is the reason I am on vacation.
For starters, there is the mess. I can't handle when things are disorganized. I like things to be in their place. I like things to be exactly where I put them, and where I find them when I need them. Looking around the room, at the suitcases strewn about the floor, the food packages strewn about, the myriad wires for every one's cell phone chargers, iPods, laptops, and cameras, the cooler lying in a distinctly hazardous manner across the entrance to out "suite", the towels all over the bathroom floor, and the half empty water bottles everywhere, I have come to the conclusion that it's a GOOD thing I am sitting facing the wall.
Then, there is the noise. I have had my own bedroom for as long as I can remember, and really don't like roommates. I am sitting here listening to one of the others snoring, and I am realizing that the only way I will sleep a wink tonight will be what I call the "seminary system." I haven't employed this method since my seminary days, but I will be sleeping with headphones blaring some slow music, such as Shwekey Behisorerus, or perhaps Project Relax.
And while the others might be feeling very vacationed in their queen beds, I don't see how this pull out couch with a mattress the Israelis would be jealous of is supposed to make me feel more relaxed.

I guess it's like the story of the guy who went complaining to his Rabbi that his house was too small. After first taking in, then removing, all of the animals on the farm, his house was much bigger. I think that by the time I get home, I will appreciate it so much more.



8 comments:

Anonymous said...

very entertaining keep them ocming

G6 said...

I never understood why some people who have beautiful homes, with lovely backyards,laundry facilities on the premises, enough bedrooms for all their children and central air pick themselves up and stuff themselves and their assorted children into a two bedroom, dilapidated bungalow with no cooling system besides the kids' water guns and live on tuna fish for 8 weeks as they shlep their laundry to the communal washers.
This is a vacation? Not for me! :)

Staying Afloat said...

Clearly, the reason for vacations is because family members driving you insane in exotic places is more fun then having them drive you insane at home. Oh, and for the pictures.

corner point said...

Is it a mitzva to say "mah rabu"? Where's that from?

ClooJew said...

I enjoy the ride much more, lulei demistafina, than the destination.

BTW, on the subject of music, Rabbi Manny Nissel gave a wonderful shiur recently, which you can find, um, er, somewhere on the web...

Something Different said...

Anon- thank you. I'll try. But please, make a name so I know who you are! :-)

G6- Yeah, that was the idea behind this post (originally) but as I was writing this I was thinking that in actuality, going to a bungalow would feel really spacious and luxurious after this. ;-)

SA- Well, yeah, pictures are great, as long as you don't associate them wiht memories of family driving you insane. ;-)

CP- Well, I doubt it says in the torah, the gemarah, or the shulchan aruch "Thou shalt say Mah Rabu", but I do see a few places where it would probably be a mitzvah. For starters, there is the mitzvah of Hakaras Hatov, G-d created a beautiful world, lets thank him for it. Also, the mitzvah of Shevach, we are praising G-d. Then there are two mitzvos temidios involved, because when you say that you surely know G-d, and (I think) the beautiful scenery brings you to love G-d, which is another mitzvah temidiah. There is also the matter of Kiddush Hashem, because at least one of the people in my car were not so inclined to go around thanking Hashem for the scenery, but at some point they joined in when I was saying it. Is that enough?

CJ- then surely you don't drive anything like the banger I had to drive. And not nearly as far either. ;-)
And a link would be nice.

ronna said...

lol yeah i dont know why but vacations stress me out more than relax me. its the time u know gotta get there by a certain time, gotta catch a flight, then have to cram all the sightseeing, and visiting everythingi nto a short period of time. i dont get to sleep in, and the place is a mess... yeah i love the way home ussually so ready to be home it goes quickly....

Something Different said...

Ronna- I am totally in agreement with you. I think an ideal vacation is one where you set no alarm clocks, follow no schedules, and have no time pressures....ahhh