Toronto is Where I Want to Run to

Sep 21, 2015 by

09.21.2015 - Toronto is Where I Want to Run to

“Toronto is where I want to run to.”

– As written on the wall of Lisa Marie


          “Are you staying or going?” one of my coworkers asked me at almost 8 pm on Friday night.

          “Leaving soon!” I assured her as I continued to hastily click my mouse in a hurried attempt to wrap everything up.

          “I mean for your vacation,” she said. “Are you staying home or going somewhere?”

          “Oh! Staying!” I beamed.

          “You know what, though? I have a feeling your staycations are really fun. Like, you’ll actually explore the city.”

          “Oh, girl, I’m so excited!” I squealed. “This is my first one, but let me tell you, when I was unemployed, I was living the life. I plan for this to be just like that!”

          “Except now you’re employed, so – ”

          “I get a paycheque!” I finished her sentence in excitement.





          I never used to believe in staycationing. I didn’t see the point. Why take time off just to stay home? That, of course, was before Paris and before my second bout of unemployment-by-choice, both of which gave me an even greater appreciation for my home than I already had. Thanks to The Happiness Experiment, I re-fell in love with Toronto well before I boarded that plane to France last September, but it was Paris that helped me see my home as just as worthy of my free time as anywhere else. In fact, it was more worthy, because home was where I wanted to be. Home is still where I want to be, hence my first staycation, which kicked off on Friday night and extends until Thanksgiving on October 12.

          Like when I decided to quit my job last year with two weeks to go before leaving for Paris and when I chose not to search for work immediately upon my return, I’ve been repeatedly asked the same question with regard to taking a three-week staycation: “What are you going to do?”

          “Live life and not work!” I repeatedly answered what I thought was obvious. “It’s going to be like being unemployed again!” I’d excitedly add, forgetting that this explains nothing to people who’ve entered my life post-unemployment.

          As I said, I got the same question then – until friends began to see what unemployment meant to me: more time to do whatever I wanted. That’s what this staycation is: not having to be anywhere other than where I want to be at any given moment. That includes not having to be in another country in the name of vacation. It’s about having forty more hours per week to enjoy my home, and that doesn’t necessarily mean exploring it; it just means living it.

          I’m as thrilled to staycation as I would be to get on a plane. On Friday, I was so excited that I woke up at 4:30 am because I couldn’t sleep, nearly skipped through my morning workout, and spent all day at work dancing in my seat. Admittedly, I had a small lump in my throat at the end of the day upon realizing that I was leaving my coworkers for three weeks (you know you love where you work when . . .), but as soon as I was riding the highway in pursuit of Friday night, I was ecstatic. I was happier than I was the day I left for Paris. Truthfully, I wasn’t happy the day I left for Paris at all. I cried at the airport. I cried because I knew I didn’t want to go and hadn’t accepted that yet. But on Friday night, just about a week and a half shy of a year later, there was no confusion about where I wanted to be. And I was already there.

Happiness Tip: Staycation.

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