Monday, August 23, 2010

2 Years, 8 Months, 30 Days

November 2007 was the last time we went on vacation. Actually, it can be more accurately described as a babymoon since my wife was 5 months pregnant. At the time, we assumed this vacation would be our last for awhile. Because I had finally finished graduate school (and vacations can be less than relaxing with a newborn), it was a good time to start saving for our future. We never thought, however, that our next vacation would be almost 3 years later.

Vacations were never a priority for my childhood. We rarely just went away to experience a new place. I do remember visiting family friends in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. However, most of our summer vacations consisted of traveling to my sister’s softball tournaments across the country.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate peaceful (even restful) vacations that allow for time away from the stresses of life. It doesn’t even matter where I spend my time - I could enjoy a vacation in my own house. But, since my son was born, my wife and I have really tried to let our son experience the world – to let him know that life exists outside of New Jersey. Even if he doesn’t fully grasp our time together on vacation, we were still making memories as a family. We will remember his excitement as he witnessed things for the first time.

However, it became difficult to balance the need/desire for a vacation and the uncertainty of working for a fledgling company. It was never the “right time” to go on a vacation when in the background there was a constant looming fear of unemployment. And then finally, when my company officially went under, providing for our basic necessities became a much higher priority than taking a vacation.

But, after a year of unemployment, I came to the realization that there will never be the “right time” to take vacation. My son, at almost 2.5, had never been on vacation. As his parents, we owe him the opportunity to witness the world and participate in life outside of our home. Furthermore, it was important for me to give my wife the opportunity to enjoy time as a family. As the only working parent for a grant funded non-profit, her days are often spent trying to solidify her professional future in an uncertain economy. While, I’m off daily with my son enjoying our adventures, she’s working diligently at home only getting to enjoy her time with my son and I in short snippets. Thus, it was important for me to let us spend time together, uninterrupted.

The challenge for us became finding an affordable vacation on a one-income household. Combining our desire for peace with our need to explore, we decided to rent a house on a lake in the Poconos. It was a perfect vacation spot to spend some quality time as a family, including our dogs. It was a simple vacation that allowed my son to explore nature, make his first s’mores on a campfire, and learn how to row a canoe. It was too short, as most vacations are, but we made life-long memories and have a ton of pictures to remember them by (614 pictures, to be exact!).



  1. It really was the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and enjoy our time together without competing with schedule and time constraints. I'm glad we made it happen!

  2. I am happy for you! We took very few vacations when the kids were small. It was not until they were in middle school that we had the money to take well thought-out low cost vacations. I wish that we had done more things locally on weekends during the summer when they were younger.


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