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April 26, 2013

STAWAR: Vacation planning: Then and now


Most of the time was spent driving. As a kid I got to see a lot of America, but most of it was blurred as we whizzed by in our Chevrolet. Also to my mother’s perpetual annoyance, no matter where we went, on the way home, my father always wanted to make a surprise visit to some distant relatives in Kansas City, even if we had to drive 500 miles out of our way to do so. 

Journalist Jennifer Harper from the Washington Times reports that many Americans feel guilty about taking vacations. For many people, fears about job security may be a major factor, according to therapist Raymond Folen, who says, “taking time off makes them feel bad or worthless.” He says that such people were often raised by parents who taught them that, “a good child is a productive child.” 

Humorist Davis Sedaris writes that being away from home always made his father “anxious and crabby.” This was certainly true in my family. My father never seemed to trust anything that smacked purely of leisure, including reading for enjoyment, playing sports, and, of course, taking vacations. I thought of him recently when I heard somebody say, “If you have time to lean, you have time to clean.” Since he always liked electronics, technology and bargains — and was committed to a do-it-yourself philosophy — I suspect he would have approved of online vacation planning. 

 Good luck with your vacation plans this year. I hope you find some good deals, interesting things to do, and most importantly, don’t let the bed bugs bite.

— Terry L. Stawar, Ed.D., lives in Georgetown and is the CEO of LifeSpring the local community mental health center in Jeffersonville. He can be reached at Checkout his Welcome to Planet-Terry blog and podcast at

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