Why Vacationing is Important- Even When You are Retired

vacation lighthouse tour“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” St. Augustine

It’s summer.  The time many people looked forward to all year when they were working.  A time to break the routine and relax.  So, why is it when we retire that we think vacations are no longer necessary?  Maybe its because we think we do not deserve a vacation since we haven’t earned it by working.

This is garbage.  Retirees have earned the right to vacation too through many years of hard work and sacrifice. Variety truly is the spice of life.  Traveling, even a day trip, stimulates the mind and gets us out of our routine.  Even though the price of gasoline can make some long distance trips prohibitive, with a little planning, a day trip or a week-end getaway can make everything seem fresh again.

Our brains need to be challenged. Just like our bodies become unresponsive when we do the same workout routine every day, our mental skills aren’t as sharp when we do the same thing day in, day out.  Meeting new people, seeing different scenery, eating different food, all help to improve our minds. Retirees are prone to establishing routines and these routines can sap the energy and mystery of new life experiences.

It is true that when you are working, vacations take a higher priority in our lives and are highly anticipated and planned for.  A report published in the Journal of Travel Medicine in 2005 said workers who felt most recuperated after their vacations had:

Visited warmer, sunnier places.
Enjoyed more free time.
Exercised more.
Slept more.
Made new acquaintances.

Granted we can do these things every day when we are retired, but do we?  If you have found yourself in a rut since you retired, perhaps the time is right to change the scenery and take a vacation.    The internet provides information on special summer events and activities.  With our current economy, many places are offering discount packages to offset the price of fuel.  Libraries also offer sources of information for summer activities.

So, even if you are retired, don’t feel like you can’t take a vacation.  You need one.  And you will return with a renewed appreciation for where you are in life.

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