Vacations have always shared a special place in the hearts of students; a welcome break from the grueling routine of school, homework, classes and such other activities. Over the years, the concept of a vacation and the manner in which it is perceived and spent has undergone a sea-change.
There was a time when vacations truly meant a sheer break from all school related activities. Lazy mornings, plenty of playing indoors with friends and cousins, binging on home-made sweets and snacks and being pampered by doting grandparents. Cable TV had not yet made its presence and life was free from other distractions like the phone and internet. Travelling also meant visits to the grandparent’s house in the native village or camping up at the cousins’ house. Travelling also meant long hours spent on a train journey.
Now, children themselves get bored after a few days of inactivity and demand to be entertained. Cousins live far away, some even countries apart, so it is not a wonder that many have no contact with their cousins. Summer camps have taken up dominance and preference to keep youngsters away from spending too much time in front of the television or Facebook. Travelling is definitely not synonymous with visiting relatives. It has to be a luxurious holiday to a resort or even a foreign locale, with train journeys mostly given a miss. With most households falling in the double-income category, most of these do not seem like a stretch of finances.
While the trend may not hold true in absolute terms and applied across the many strata of the society, this can be safely taken as a general curve in the graph of time-life analysis.
Both trends have their pros and cons. While the previous generation missed out on the early exposure that travel and extra-curricular activities bring along, they gained on the valuable nourishment that happens when you bond with grandparents and cousins/siblings. The innocent fun and mischief is something that cannot be traded off with anything else.
Vacations for the current crop may mean summer camps, holiday to exotic locations and extra TV viewing. If the moderation is kept as a key factor, even this could serve as an advantage factor as the exposure levels have indeed gone up and keeping up with the trend seems to be the wise thing to do. As long as the children get the necessary fodder for mind and body nourishment, any activity is welcome.
So, whatever your idea of vacation is, go on and make the most of it!