There’s something that happens on vacation… On the third day, it’s like a long weekend. No Monday blues. On the fourth day, it’s officially holiday, and you’ve broken the corporate mold. You’re in freefall, it can be unnerving to detach from the job you see as life support.
I have a theory about wilderness travel, and that is that it takes five days to acclimatize. It’s a shame if an outdoor expedition lasts only five days (or even seven), because that’s when it all “clicks.” There’s a distinct moment when you’ve completely adjusted to sleeping in a tent, waking at dawn, cooking on a portable stove. You wake with verve and anticipation rather than achiness or dread. You feel at home away.
I think my five-day theory holds true for almost any vacation. Adapting to an unfamiliar foreign country is a bigger stretch (which to me is what makes travel abroad more fulfilling than domestic travel), but it could also take five days to click into relaxed comfort in Florida.
Some people get all twitchy and crave the Internet. Some people feel the urge to call their parents or boast with a pic of the beach on Facebook.
If anything, I’m likely to show a close-up of a withered bicycle seat; a leathery local smoking a cigar; or an organized work party, or minga.
Withered bicycle seat. Havana, Cuba
Leathery local smoking a cigar while sidecar zips by. Havana, Cuba
A painter hanging outside the window of a casa particular. Havana, Cuba
How long does it take you to acclimatize to a new place? Is it a pleasure, or a pain in the ass? What was the most uncomfortable place you found yourself in, and how did you adapt?