The Greatest Staycation Ever

July from The Late Bloomer's Almanac by Michelle DeSpain

Have you ever staycationed?

i.e., Was there a time when you didn’t have the resources to travel, so you turned your own home and hometown into a vacation paradise instead?

I’ve never consciously staycationed before. I’ve certainly participated in staycation-like activities, but I’ve never blocked a chunk of vacation time on the calendar and then staycated.

I wax poetically on vacations and staycations in the July chapter of my book, The Late Bloomer’s Almanac: Cultivating Mind, Body and Soul Throughout the Year.

Check out the first page of the chapter.

July from The Late Bloomer's Almanac: Cultivating Mind, Body and Soul Throughout the Year

I continue on the next page with this:

“Most of the world vacations in July. Vacations aren’t optional. They are necessary for good health. Why do you think companies pay their employees to take vacations? Because happy employees = healthy employees.

Smart entrepreneurs pay themselves to vacation as well.”

Oops. Normally, I am a woman who practices what she preaches. Except for this July.

I thought about crashing my uncle’s beach house pad in Hampton Bays, NY, but I’ve been nursing a very sick little doggie. I can’t leave her. End of discussion.

“You don’t need to vacate your hometown to take a breather and expand your horizons. Research staycations on the Internet. Use your imagination to turn your home into a Resort of Relaxation.”

Wow. I’m an insistent little bugger, aren’t I?

I mean, cut me some slack here, me! I took a few days off in May. And I took almost two weeks off in December!

Sure, I am completely and utterly exhausted. But I don’t have time to rest this July! Who has time for freedom when you’re launching e-courses in the fall! Haven’t you ever heard that there is no rest for the weary???

And then Life Happened. While I was making other plans. As it always does.

It was a glorious morning.

The dawn’s early light danced through the windows. The desert birds sang their merry wee tunes. A cool summer breeze wafted through the mesquite trees.

Feeling quite in love with life, I sauntered to my desk with MacBook Pro in hand. For the first time ever, my MacBook gently slipped from my grasp. I gracefully saved it with my thigh. Whew!

My MacBook then proceeded to slide down my thigh in seemingly slow motion until… *lightest of bumps*… it barely kissed the carpet with its short side. I rescued it from a total wipeout. Whew again!

No. You are not seeing things. This is what happens when you barely drop a MacBook Pro. What was once white is now yellow.

May we please take a moment of silence, followed by a brief musical interlude, in homage to my beloved MacBook Pro.

You know what’s coming, right?

My beloved MacBook must leave me for the Apple Hospital. Her expected stay is 3-5 business days.

Whilst receiving this prognosis at the Genius Bar, I asked my Genius if I could secure a loaner laptop.


Could they fix it in-store?


My Genius asked me if I needed my MacBook for work.


That’s when it hit me. My Never-Ending To Do Lists flashed before my eyes, and I promptly fainted. The Geniuses gathered round and gave me mouth to mouth to resuscitate me.

That last dramatic detail is obviously made up. But when you’re a solopreneur and you’re told that you’re not going to have access to your lifeline for an entire week, you feel as though you’ve just lost a limb, which would surely make you pass out.

I momentarily entertained the idea of freaking out right then and there, but those Geniuses are sooooo nice and sooooo chillaxed. They rubbed off on me. Namaste, Geniuses.

I calmly informed my Genius that I would return on Sunday to admit my precious MacBook into the Apple Hospital. In the meantime, I’d get as much work done as possible by hooking up my laptop to my monitor for a yellow-free experience.

As soon as I returned home, I shouted an SOS in the Facebook forum of World’s Best Collaborative Workspace. In a heartbeat, a kind and generous colleague came to my rescue with a spare laptop. I’d be able to continue work as planned.

In the next heartbeat, a fantasy corrupted me. This was by far the most titillating fantasy that I dreamed up in months. The excitement consumed me.

Yes, my fantasy was that HOT.

Would you like a little sneak peek into my fantasy? Hmmm???

O.k. I will tell you. Come closer.

I fantasized about an impromptu staycation. A week of unplugged-ness. A week of doing nothing that resembled work.

Sure, my work is my passion. Statistically speaking, only 13% of workers around the world enjoy their jobs. I am part of the coveted minority! Yay!

And since I love my work to the moon and back, I tend to think about it A LOT.

Kind of like when you first meet someone that makes you all gooey inside, and you just can’t stop thinking about HIM. (Or HER.) You lose sleep, drop weight, and forget to call your mother for three weeks. Let’s face it, you are obsessed.

But space and alone time are all healthy practices in love and in work, my friends.

Starting Monday, July 28th, I am going on Staycation.

I am taking my own bloody advice. I am unplugging from all electronic devices.

The Late Bloomer's Almanac by Michelle DeSpain

Screenshot 2014-07-25 15.06.16

I am breathless in anticipation.

In addition to all of this improvised fun, I am attending Music Camp.

At Casa de Michelle.

Have you ever heard of it? It’s soon to be world-famous.

The guitar at Casa de Michelle aka My House
The guitar at Casa de Michelle aka My House

I can’t remember the last time I picked up my guitar and strummed it. It may have been a year ago last June when a tall handsome physicist by day/musician by night played with me in my kitchen.

Played guitar, that is.

It’s about time that I circle back to my musical roots. I’m on a timeline, after all.

I have a dream of moonlighting as a jazz singer when I turn 50. I envision myself crooning sultry standards in a slinky red dress while strewn across a black baby grand piano.

Granted, I have 5 years and 1.6 months to prepare for my Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys fantasy, but still. The last time I sang (in earnest) was June 2013 with the aforementioned Renaissance Dude. Time is a tickin’. I promise to play and sing each day during my staycation.

I don’t know exactly when my MacBook will be discharged from the Apple Hospital, but I hope to see you again on Monday, August 4th.

In the meantime, my stellar virtual assistants aka Mom and Sis will be manning (or is it womanning?) The Late Bloomer Revolution Facebook Page whilst I am away.

I have politely asked them to behave themselves. My mother has a long history of booby trapping the homes of vacationing friends. She even roped me and my sister in on her shenanigans when we were kids.

Should my mother and/or sister misbehave, please contact me immediately via email, contact form or phone. (I’m serious.) Thank you in advance for watching out for me.

This is going to be The Greatest Staycation Ever.

Till we meet again…


Have you ever staycationed? Please share your best staycation tips and ideas in the comments section below!



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26 comments... read them below or add one

          1. Awww my little devil face emoji doesn’t show.

            Insert devil face emoji here


  1. Enjoy your “staycation” – technology free! I am very sorry for the damage to your Mac Book, but perhaps it was a sign from the Universe that you need to unplug, run through sprinklers, and take some epic naps! I’ve never staycationed before, but will be leaving for a little time away upon your return on August 4th…I’ll be thinking of you this week, living vicariously through your relaxation :)

    1. Exactly. All work and no play makes Michelle a dull girl. Thanks, Universe!

      And thank you, Stacey! Have FUN on your vacay! :-)

  2. That would be the Universe forcing you to take a spoonful of your own medicine, Michelle. Have a great time! Work will be patiently waiting for you when you get back.

    We’re being forced into a staycation because the renovations from a basement flood in the Spring are (finally!) happening the first week of August – when we usually hit the road. So, 7 days of fun things to do around home with a 7-year-old, here we come! Though, I do pray they’ll be done in time to get out of the city for some Nature time too…

    1. And just a spoonful of staycation sugar makes the medicine go down! :-D

      Good luck, Cathy! I will never forget my first year of teaching when it rained for three consecutive weeks. No playground time for my multiage class of preschoolers and kindergartners. It. Was. Interesting. ;-)

  3. strangely i too am taking a week off from the ballet after four years and only abot 4 weeks off including injury sickness and dancing thru holidays! i took last week off but got no relaxation my hubby got ill and kept me up for nights and then we had unexpected company TWICE so i am taking another week off just for me i dont know what ill do but you gave me some great ideas hope we both have a great week off and go back to work refreshed and renewed happy stay vay

  4. I often take week long staycations when I find myself overwhelmed with work. I call it Missing in Action week! I usually take lots of naps, watch girly movies, Disney classics and musicals, and schedule in home spa days.

    Good luck with your staycation Michelle! So sorry about your Mac.

  5. OMG, this was hilarious, not that your MBP took a dive and required resuscitation, but how you described proscribing it for others and being….forced?…into it yourself. The Universe at work, I’d say. :) I have never taken a Staycation, never totally blown off a few days and just played, did touristy stuff or those things on my really-want-to-do list (for me it’s drawing and calligraphy). It’s sounding totally appealing, so thank you for inspiring me, and with such humor. :)

  6. Hi Michellie! so sorry about your mac! that said, I love your ideas of a staycation! I made plans to meet a friend for lunch, then we are off to The Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn NY. from there we will venture over to a childhood beach, called Bar Beach. (Your nana use to take your mom, uncle johnny, and me for swimming lessons there. actually, she only paid for lessons for them, and told me stay nearby and listen, so I would get free lessons! LOL!!) so today is the first day of my staycation! hmm wonder what to do tomorrow! thanks for the ideas! love you!

  7. Sounds like you will really be able to UNPLUG! The idea of having free time at home to do whatever/go wherever/whenever sounds like FREEDOM to me. Let it ring Michelle!

  8. I just came back from an unplugged (not by choice) vacation, where I thought I’d get a lot of work done. Up in the mountains of NC, no phone, no texting, questionably temperamental intermittent internet. I gave up and enjoyed life. Ahhhh! I didn’t miss too much, no baby seals were harmed. All is well. Enjoy yours!

  9. I love the idea of a staycation, but I must admit that I would still find things to do around the house like laundry, cleaning, organizing, etc…. I’m impossible that way as I am programmed to accomplish something each and every day. My best means of unplugging and totally relaxing is when I am cruising the seas! I love that there are no cell phones and that the ship charges for internet use. Wow, was that a relaxing trip!! Good luck remaining unplugged. How can you possibly resist viewing all the wonderful comments that people have left here on your blog? I’m going to be checking up on you to see if you “snuck” in to read and respond. Enjoy!

  10. I wish I had read that a week ago while my kids were all in sleep away camp! Although my husband and I jaunted off to Maine for a few days when we got him we still had a whole week to hang out, kid free. But we felt pressure to get some work done or do house projects. Now that the kids are back home I really wish I had tuned out, and maybe dropped my computer!

  11. You have me fantasizing about a staycation, …. crisp sheets, sunshine, late breakfasts, coffee, books, and a pile of old movies…river walks.. See how fast that happened? Magic..enjoy your staycation..kiss your pooch for me too!

  12. Enjoy your staycation! Sometimes the world sends you subtle hints you need a break, and they gradually become less and less subtle until you surrender. It sounds like your MacBook’s trip to the Apple Hospital was just that. I am glad to hear you are completely unplugging as well. It is hard to be present in the moment on a staycation or vacation when you are constantly “peeking” at what is going on in cyberland. Enjoy!

  13. Michelle I am trying to live vicariously through you right now. You have your feet up enjoying a margarita right now and won’t even read this until your week is up. Meanwhile, your staycation week is my move week. Talk about opposite experiences. I’m still super happy for you and proud of you for not borrowing that laptop. Hope it was all you had imagined and more!

  14. Cold play and your writing. Great combo! I staycation every christmas as it’s the only time I can be in my home and not ‘feel’ like I have to work, or be drawn TO work. However, I am feeling the need sister. I have mini 2 hour staycations~~ does that count? On my way home from my little portal by the sea, I often find myself detouring to the seaside for a dip in the ocean playground, forgetting my day and playing with the abundance around me, sometimes playing with the tourists and sometimes off in a secluded spot on my own. I must do it more. just reading your post has me there. Give the best doggie in the world a big kiss for me …. Xoxoxo

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