Catholic Company / Magazine

What Makes A Great Vacation?

Jun 04, 2012 by

Family Summer VacationWhat makes a great vacation?

That is the question I began thinking about this summer.  In order to answer this question I thought about the vacations of I have been on which are many.  I have probably been to the beaches of South and North Carolina more than I could ever imagine.  I have gone on numerous camping trips and I have gone to resorts outside the country.  But what makes all of these vacations great?  Does it take amazing food?  Or great friends and family?  Or maybe all you need for a vacation is a relaxing, care free period of time?  I decided that the best way to decide what makes a great vacation is to decide what vacation I have been on that was the best.  I ultimately decided that my best vacation was actually a mission trip.

I have had the privilege of going to Jamaica on a mission trip with the MOP twice in my life.  And both vacations were incredible and the best vacations of my life.  The memories I have from those trips will last a life time and the experiences I had there have helped to make me into the person I am today.  I find myself wondering though, what made that such a great vacation?

That vacation didn’t have great food, fantastic beds, air conditioning, or even family.  It did have daily mass, rosaries, prayer books, and service.  And yet these vacations were the best and the ones that I want to go on again and again.  Why is that?  Well, I think it’s because mission trips to Jamaica cater to the whole person: body, mind, and soul.  In the mornings I would go on a run (body), during the afternoon I would cater to the poor (mind/soul), and throughout our whole day from sunrise to sunset there was prayer (soul).  My whole person was a part of the vacation.  The fact of the matter is however, that I simply can’t go to Jamaica for every vacation for the rest of my life, so I how do I take the lessons from Jamaica and apply them to my vacations in the future?

I think that what I have to remember is that if I want to have the best vacation, then it needs to cater to my mind, body, and soul.  How do I do that?  Well I could pray the rosary during vacations for starters.  Or I visit a homeless shelter one day of my vacation.  I don’t need to just eat out, go site seeing, and sleep.  I encourage you to try and make your vacation cater to your whole person. Perhaps you can incorporate Catholic games in your family vacations or reading the Catholic Bible together.  Try and incorporate all of yourself into a vacation and see how it affects you.  What is the harm in trying, right?

What is your favorite vacation?  What do you think makes a vacation great?