My grandmother loved to hoard. Her closets were bursting with shoes that didn’t quite fit, clothes that her children wore 40 years ago, and things that she hadn’t thought about in 20 years. I’m not proud of this, but I’ve often been smug about not sharing that trait with her.
I like to use things up before getting a replacement. I really like to get rid of things. And my system usually works. I occasionally run out of toothpaste or something important at an inconvenient time, but I prefer that to having toothpaste from 1987 hidden in the recesses of my bathroom cabinet.
It turns out that I did inherit Grandma’s hoarding tendencies in one department though. That’s what I get for being smug. Hi, I’m Hannah, and I hoard my vacation days. I haven’t taken more than one day off at a time since I started working here sixteen months ago. And when I did take time off, it’s only because I really couldn’t avoid it.
Deep down inside, I think I was hoping that I would find myself spontaneously adventuring in another country for three weeks. My stinginess would pay off, and all would be well. Or I could end up with a mountain of vacation days and a really bad attitude because I never bothered to take a break. I’d better just take the days and get rid of the grump.
I’ve decided to start with a baby step, which means two days off (ooh, aah) for my brother’s wedding in Asheville. There will be some road trip sing-a-long goodness with the windows rolled down, some mountain admiring, and some very important sister-in-law bonding. I’m excited. Then step two on the recovery plan is a trip to Colorado to visit my parents. They’ve been troopers about coming to see me for the past couple of years, so it’s time to return the favor. Plus, I’ll get to scratch the family dog behind the ears and enjoy the western slope of the Rockies.
If you were curious, these were the leading options for my imaginary three-week vacation:
- England for a week to watch the early rounds of Wimbledon, then a trek to Ireland or Scotland for a few weeks
- Austria, Slovenia or Czechoslovakia any old time (they’re on the places-I-haven’t-been-but-would-like-to-go short list)
- Upstate New York or Vermont (hiking and canoeing and small towns)
- Pretty much anything on the REI Adventures website. Have you guys seen the places they go? Kayaking through the Norwegian Fjords, hiking from coast to coast in Ireland, hiking and cycling through China (except that I’m a total idiot on a bike), all sorts of outdoor amazingness in Alaska! Looking at their trip descriptions almost makes me drool on my computer monitor.
Drooling aside, I think I’m on the road to recovery.