It's Fine to Say You Had a Terrible Time on Vacation

It's Fine to Say You Had a Terrible Time on Vacation
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Most of life is pain, interspersed with moments of unadulterated, devil-may-care bliss, and vacation is supposed to be one of those moments. News flash: It’s not always.

A new survey reveals that Americans are prone to lie about just about every aspect of their vacation, according to the Los Angeles Times. The travel website JetCost surveyed 4,000 Americans, and found that vacation-goers will lie about where they went, how much fancy sightseeing they did, what the weather was like, how much they drank, and where they stayed. And a whole bunch of vacation-goers lie about whether they had any fun at all (per the LA Times):

[…] almost 70% said they had a better time on vacation than they actually did, and more than half said they wouldn’t tell anyone if their vacation was a complete fiasco even if it was.

The societal expectation to have the time of your life on vacation, no matter where you go, is unparalleled. The LA Times does not say how JetCost defines “American” for the purposes of the survey, but I think that, in the U.S., people need their peers to have an ah-MAZE-ing time on vacation, so that they can build it up as this life-changing experience in their minds and justify it to themselves the next time they want to take off. Think about it: The first thing that someone asks when you get back from vacation was “HOW WAS IT?” or sometimes, “Did you have THE BEST time?” Once, I asked a roommate this question, who had just gotten back from a month in Brazil to watch her sister play in the Olympics. (Sounds amazing to me!!) And my roommate, rightfully so, was like, “I hate that question.” My roommate was Australian, so maybe she was onto something.

There’s too much pressure to have an out-of-your-mind, bonkers good time on vacation—but vacation can be good, fine, or even mediocre. Vacation involves some of the most painful experiences life can offer: layovers; checking bags; being on airplanes; interacting with immigration and customs official; bad seafood; long lines; sunburns; finding a small animal in your rental car. Listen: you don’t need to wow anyone else with your time off. The real point of vacation is not working. If you can step away and take a real break from working, you should count that as a victory against this capitalist hellscape. No need to dress it up or justify it to anyone else: Take your vacation, because no one can do it for you, and dare to go out there and have an absolutely just-fine time.

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