The Gleaner
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Be sure to get away, in some way, this summer

A few weeks ago, the thought of slipping away for a summer vacation seemed simple compared to the last two years of pandemic-imposed staycations, short trips, and extra luggage space for masks (and a few extra clothes in case isolation time was involved).

Now, suddenly, there is absolute chaos at airports. If flights even make it off the ground before being cancelled at the last minute, there is little guarantee luggage will arrive when and where it should.

Too many post-pandemic travellers and not enough staff is to blame, according to airport authorities and airlines, who are dealing with widespread labour shortages that impact all aspects of air travel. In short, this summer may not be the time to plan an overseas adventure.

At the same time, with gas prices continuing to hover around two dollars per litre, the option to drive is not necessarily attractive either. Add to this a now surging Omicron variant that medical experts are referring to as a “ninja” due to its capacity to evade natural and vaccine-produced antibodies, and the backyard vacation is starting to sound more appealing.

Regardless of whether road trips, flights, or plans to discover different local activities are on the schedule for these next few weeks, it is important to remember that we all really do need some sort of summer vacation. So many of us have vacation days accumulating at work that will go unused, especially after the last few years. But, instead of taking the opportunity to escape beyond the parameters of our daily grind, we often succumb to complications: worry about falling behind, and feelings of guilt… and don’t bother using them.

The benefits of disconnecting are widespread and well-documented when it comes to reducing stress levels, raising productivity, and even improving mental health. Vacations are simply too important to skip, or to set aside with thoughts and promises of that dream vacation… eventually… one day. It is the experience and the change provided by the break, and not its extravagance, that make time away memorable.

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