I went to Orlando to visit a friend last week. It was the first vacation I had taken in five years. That means, in the last ten years, I've been on two vacations. I don't BELIEVE that's what regular human beings do. Regular people try to go on vacation once a year or something, right?
"Hey, it's February again. Let's get the hell out of here!"
"But we went away last February."
"... Yeah. That's what I said. Whatever. Stay here. I'm out. Peace, not vacationing loser!"
The last vacation I went on was to Jamaica. I had just taped a half hour special for Canadian television. I have to add the 'Canadian' part because people in America looking at this need the context.
"He filmed a half hour special? Huh. I didn't know that. He's doing it! He must really be moving up the.... oh. In Canada. That's like filming a half hour special in Idaho FOR Idaho. I ALMOST texted him 'congrats'."
That had just been filmed, and I had worked really hard on it. For about four and a half years straight, everyday, doing shows. So I thought, with the money I made from it, which was Canadian millions, I'd go on a trip. That, and also my girlfriend was like, 'You know before you I used to go on vacations all the time. All the time! We're young! What the hell are we doing?!"
So we went. Great time. Then, a year later, I moved to New York, and, same as Toronto, just did shows every night for years. A friend of mine has been working at Disney in Orlando for the last year. Kept asking me to come down and visit. Finally booked it, and went down.
I say vacationing is hard for many reasons. One, it's almost impossible to get away from people. When you vacation, most times it's because you just want to chill. You spend time at work around people, getting to work around people, going to bars and such around tons of people. You just want to chill for a couple days away from go go go. The only people that really get to vacation that way are Richard Branson and other billionaires. They can fly to islands where they are COMPLETELY ALONE. If regular people go to an empty island, there's some sort of SARS outbreak.
"Come down to Aruba for 'Bird Flu Bonanza' Days! You'll have an entire villa to your self because every one on the island is fighting for their lives in the hospital! For just twelve dollars a night, you'll find out what it's like to vacation AND run your own hotel. Get your own towels, make your own food, check yourself in ALL while wearing a surgical mask! No lines at the bar. Nobody in the hot tub. Hell, you'll even have the airport to yourself! 'Bird Flu Bonanza' days. Come experience an apocalypse while you even out that tan.'
Billionaires can go to an empty island that is GORGEOUS, no SARS anywhere. If people did show up, they can deal with it.
"Mr. Branson, a family of six just landed on the other end of the island."
"Well, have them murdered and fill this kiddie pool with their life blood. My children will bathe."
"Don't you give me that damn look, Benniford. Have. Them. MURDERED."
ANYwhere regular humans are going to go is packed. Even the plane on the way there. Just jammed.
"Ladies and gentleman, this flight is VERY full today. We do not have enough room for your luggage, so just throw it up front and we will have it incinerated for you. Also, if you could fuse your left and right leg together, we can squeeze one more cheese head with a neck pillow on board. Enjoy your trip to Have Fun Trying To Relax!"
Growing up, my mom REALLY wanted to take me and my Brother to Disneyland. Every time a commercial would come on for it, she'd say that if she won the lottery, the first thing she would do is take us there. Lottery was going to be the only way to do it. So, never went there as a kid. As an adult, with my friend working there, took the opportunity. Found out why lottery would be needed. It's expensive to take a family a lot of places, but definitely here. For a regular family, I'd guess it takes YEARS to save the money to take everyone to Disneyland. Just hours and hours of being kicked in the head at your job for five days of being cooked in the boiling sun while you wait an hour and a half for a minute and a half rollercoaster.
"Weeeee! Weeee! Ahhhhh! Ahhhh.... Oh. Done. Huh. Well, that was cool."
"Cool? That was cool? I worked doubles for two years for you to go on this. It better be goddamn better than cool!"
As well as the expense of the parks, hotels in the area can be very expensive. If you want to stay at a Disney hotel, which I'm sure a lot of families want to to get a full Disney experience or whatever, some of these can be six hundred, seven hundred a night. A night. Just to have a place where your toothbrush and clothes won't be used by the homeless. I don't know much, but I do know that if I go on vacation and spend six hundred a night on a hotel, the hotel IS NOW the vacation. I'm not leaving that room. I'm using everything that's in there. Every towel, cup, drawer, blanket. I'll open and close the curtains for hours. I'll FINALLY read the bible.
"Huh. Look at this. This Jesus guy was alright!"
Interesting to go to Disneyland. If Walt was alive today, he'd see almost the exact same amount of smiling kids and families as crying families going through a divorce right in front of Goofy. Trip is so stressful and expensive families are just breaking down.
"You know what? Fine. Take the kids! I don't care anymore! We're done!"
Then a father will walk away with Mickey ears bouncing on his head. One this trip I went on a gator tour that was sweet. Forty minutes outside of Orlando, on an airport, out with gators in gator country. This was great, but another reason that vacationing is hard is that a lot of people you meet on vacation try to fit where they're from into the weirdest things. People REALLY want you to know what town they're from.
"Hey everyone, look over there. Gator."
"Oh, gator! We don't have this kind of thing in Plastic Bag, North Dakota."
... Yeah, of course you don't. Most people don't. That's why were here. You think people that see gators all the time are on these tours? Or vacation around them? Just say where you're from if you have to. You don't have to jam it in.
"Ah, The Incredible Hulk rollercoaster. We don't have things like this in Touch Yourself, Illinois."
We know! There's one of these! It's here! That's it! Then you have a to have a conversation about it.
"Oh, you're from Dust Storm, Arkansas? Nice. Hear it's nice this time of... Ah, god! You and I both know I haven't heard of it. And you're gonna say, 'Of course you haven't', and laugh to yourself that no one knows about it. I get it!"
Vacationing is also hard because it's gonna take a couple days to REALLY decompress from your regular life. Day three you're really feeling it, and day six you're outta there. All vacations should be an extra couple of days. If you have a week, it should be ten days. First three, you're just put in a decompression chamber.
"Okay, so put your bathing suit on, and slide right into this dark tunnel. We'll wake you up and throw you on the beach. You'll have a full five days of chill time. Watch your frisbee. I'm gonna lock this up now."
I'm going to try to make sure it's not another five years before I take some time off.