We have had experiences we wouldn't normally have had. My husband is the only child of an only child, and being THAT CLOSE for that amount of time (especially to MY family) teaches you about yourself, Life in general, and group dynamics.
I started thinking about how these Group Vacations prepare you for so many things.......like, say a Zombie Apocalypse. Or any dystopian apocalypse, really.
|Cat Apocalypse: The smelliest of all. From shirtshovel.com|
Building or Finding Shelter.
Finding shelter for a vacation mostly involves using a computer and manipulating search engines and/or email, not exactly life threatening. However, negotiation and compromise is usually involved with both.
Hunting and Finding Food.
Though for us: Apocalypse.
On our Family Vacation, there is gun shooting but only at clay targets. There is fishing and some eating of the fish, but mostly we get food from my sister's garden and the grocery and take turns cooking and doing the prep/cleanup of meals. Not exactly bow-hunting wild boar.
|Totally GRATUITOUS Daryl Dixon picture. Because I can. AMCTV.com|
Unless you're filthy rich, or filthy in credit card debt, you probably still have to cook or somehow provide food for your family while you're on vacation. Families are relentlessly hungry. Then also someone has to clean their areas.
If you're smart you'll work out a Buddy System, either set some picks or at least take turns, so one person (Mom) doesn't have to do it all. And then have a nuclear meltdown just to get other people to help. Like at home.
Most people opt NOT to do laundry on Vacation.
In the event of an apocalypse, unless you have to be nomadic and run from zombies, someone has to wash some laundry.
Otherwise the smell of the rank survivors will bring the zombies, or cannibals, or at the very least Swamp Ass.
And guess what Lori from Walking Dead?
If you can't hunt and/or butcher animals, where does that leave you? Accept your skill set. Or learn to hunt.
|Whining. Again.. from giphy.com|
You've made dinner for your family for years, but cooking for a GROUP filled with different kinds of picky eaters is another experience. Entirely.
You know that "many hands make the load lighter" saying? That.
We usually take turns cooking, or more often than not I'll do food prep and/or cleanup after.
Finding Your Place In The Group
Do you know your place in a Group dynamic? What assets or skills do you bring? Anything of the above essentials, money/currency, entertainment? Are you too good/not good enough to cook or clean? Hope you got jokes, or grab a guitar and entertain the rest.
|Glen. Am I right? from videogum.com|
Unless you have a very specific type of family.
|NOT a spoiler, this is a behind the scenes shot from AMCTV.com|
Does GPS work where you're going? Time to remember they used to make these paper directional thingies called maps.
Granted post-apocalypse situations would tend to be more stressful, but trust me, Family Vacations bring out about some major conflicts, and you learn to work that crap OUT.
No group is going to agree 100% of the time. This is a good time to practice social skills, for adults and kids. Kids don't even know they're learning new ways to negotiate new situations. Parents realize how they raise their children actually does affect other people.
This is a really good way to get a free Self Assessment on your parenting style.
If your kids are whiny, bratty, spoiled, you know who will let you know? FAMILY. Especially my family.
This is also a good time to reflect on yourself, your annoying habits, and how you deal with stress.
Everyone has flaws, and if you don't have the kind of marriage or home arrangement where you can constantly call each other out on your bullshit, because we're all just Human after all, then you should have your family or friends do this.
I know that sounds crazy, but do you know what happens to people who aren't kept in check?
|Charlie Sheen. No really, that is Charlie Sheen.|
image from icydk.com
|Shia TheBeef. from holymoly.com|
Family is perfect for this. They will not only call you out on your current asshattery, they like to bring up your past mistakes. You know, so you don't forget.
This will really make you think twice before doing things like....publicly exploding in a fit of rage.
Trust me on this. Speaking of that:
Knowing your limits.
Important in any situation.
Specifically, learning to recognize when you've about had it, and then acting before it's too late. This will help you in every aspect of your life. A lot of times people don't know how to resolve their misery, so they just trudge through until they snap. Then they say and do horrible things. Then they have to apologize, but they don't, because they're too mad from whatever drove them to that point, and the whole thing escalates.
One example is The Planner. Every family or group has the person/people who Take Charge, and start planning things.
When things go awry, the Planner(s) feel responsible, and start to stress out. Suddenly they don't want to be the planner and aren't sure how to get out of it.
Or just throw your arms up in the air like ya just don't care and say "I'm done. YOU PEOPLE can plan from now on."
If that's what you have to do to avoid meltdown, DO IT.
If we learn to recognize when we've about had enough, change whatever is driving us crazy, we don't have to snap and punch a moose.
Believe me, once you snap no one will care how much you put up with, how long you've endured.
All anyone will remember is what you said and did when you broke.
I suggest learning this shit with your family, because those assholes have to love you, no matter what. They will usually tell you what you need to work on. It will make you a better person in the long run.
So especially to you Horrible People, people who married jerkbags, or people that slowly developed into a-holes:
Do us all a favor. Take a group vacation!
Don't forget the most important thing on a family vacation:
Don't die unless someone's home. I mean, really.
|RIP, eventually, Aunt Edna from 70schild.blogspot.com|
If you haven't seen the movie National Lampoon's Vacation, the above picture is Aunt Edna. RIP. She died when her idiot son went out of town, and had to be mounted to the top of the Metalic Pea Family Truckster, and have a makeshift unceremonious ceremony in the backyard. Here's a clip. Top Ten Movies Of All Time.