I debated on blogging about this not-new-anymore term...simply because it's not new anymore. I first heard it on the radio back in the spring and thought it would be a fun blog title. Then I forgot, and now everyone knows it.
But just in case you don't, here's the definition. A staycation is the survival-of-the-fittest mode of a vacation in these times of highest gas prices ever. The first radio narration I heard on staycations encouraged families to enjoy their own cities (or cities near them), leaving behind the worries and stresses of vacating, including the bills the ever-rising gas prices induce.
I still like the term, but since it's more common now, my main reason for blogging about staycations is to point out the immense emotional value of them....not just because you will cry less when you see more money in your wallet, but because one can really grow to appreciate where he's from (or is) when he explores that city rather than jaunting off to some great vacay destination.
I know this for a fact, because I truly regret never "staycating" in Biloxi and checking out Beauvoir as an adult. And Marine Life. Yes, I saw all the fun coast spots as a child, but never really chose to enjoy them once I got older and the field trip bus wasn't taking me there.
I can't tell you how many times during the weeks and months right after Katrina hit that I apologized to my boyfriend and friends for never insisting we forego Destin or Gulf Shores or New Orleans to just explore the Coast of Mississippi. It's more than just where I grew up -- there are some fun places there!
I am so proud of the place I call home for sustaining and rebuilding so valiantly. The courage and stamina is admirable, to put it mildly. But even with that wonderful determination and all the generosity of those who have given back to the land I love, the tourist attractions of the summer of 2005 will never be as they were before August 29 of that year. And I'll never be able to take the people I have met and grown to love in adulthood back to August 28, 2005....we only have the present and the future.
So yes, save the gas money and do a staycation. But also do it to be able to appreciate your town, city, county, parish, state or even region's touristy spots as you are now. Don't wait until the unthinkable happens and all you have are dreadful before and after pics.