It’s both a joyous and deflating time – the August 4th holiday, which is positioned midway through the summer months. It is our first reminder that summer isn’t going to last forever. Additionally, not everyone gets this day off and confusion proliferates over the exact name of the holiday (for e.g.: it is known as Joseph Brant Day in Burlington, Founders’ Day in Brantford, McLaughlin Day in Oshawa, Alexander Mackenzie Day in Sarnia – the list goes on).
Since this is a holiday with some questionable origins and benefits, it seems to me the perfect day to celebrate with a ‘staycation’. A staycation is “a period in which an individual or family stays home and participates in leisure activities within driving distance [of their home], sleeping in their own beds at night” (Wikipedia article). The word is a portmanteau of stay (meaning stay-at-home) and vacation (Wikipedia article). According to some sources, it was first coined by Canadian comedian Brent Butt in the television show Corner Gas, in the episode “Mail Fraud”, which first aired October 24, 2005 (Wikipedia article). In 2009, the word was added to the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and has since gained widespread popularity as a concept and cheap pursuit (Wikipedia article).
- Check out a local winery;
- Go antiquing;
- Pursue artistic outlets (e.g. painting, photography);
- Take a cooking class away from home;
- Relive history at a nearby historical site;
- Hike through a local conservation area;
- Take a road trip with picnic lunch;
- Head out to a nearby beach for some sun; or,
- Go out hiking, biking, and get active! (See Camlot, 2014)
You can also specifically tailor your staycation for romantic pursuits with your significant other (e.g. tour local vintage stores) or more family-oriented ideas (e.g. geocaching, flying a kite, bowling).
I would argue that, so long as the ‘outside world’ is shut off and tucked away, you are enjoying a staycation. That means no harried emails, no anxious phone calls – just you, your loved ones, and the simple pleasures that you personally enjoy. I have been passing my time this long holiday listening to Y108’s Ultimate Summer Staycation – an excellent collection of rock!
Enjoy your staycation-holiday, everyone!