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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Monday (5/2/11) 3:25pm - ... wherein Peter posts a Weekly Media Update.

Moovies:  <none>
TV:  <none>
Books:  Time Off: A Psychological Guide to Vacations




Time Off: A Psychological Guide to Vacations by Stephen Shapiro and Alan Tuckman
This is a slim volume that a couple of psychotherapists wrote in the late 70s about how to take vacations.

This book is based on a simple piece of general advice:  different people have different approaches towards travel.  So it's not really like you should travel in this manner or that manner -- just recognize what your natural approach is, and understand its drawbacks.  In my case, I'm a completely non-spontaneous traveller.  I'm happiest when I chart everything out, make little lists and timetables, and arrange as much ahead of time as possible.  And that's *okay*.  I just need to consciously recognize that, and be aware that I'll have more trouble going on the spontaneous side-trip that can sometimes be the highlight of a whole trip.

Also, people travel for different reasons depending on how old they are, or what their family situation is, or how stressful their work situation is.  A lot of travelling well, they argue, comes from knowing what you want out of it.

The book is clearly an artifact of its time.  Their introduction refers repeatedly to how much leisure time Americans now have.  Parts of the book explain that you don't get anything like the full benefit of a vacation until you're into your second week of your trip.  I compare this to the trickle of vacation time that the average American gets these days, and I feel like I'm reading some dispatch from bored, 17th-century French aristocrats.

That said, it's still a pleasant little book, a quick read with mostly sensible and useful advice.


For next time:  I'm currently listening to a Teaching Company audiocourse from the library about 19th-century European philosophy, and you can guess how well I'm comprehending that.  (Hint: not well.)  On DVD, I'm watching Modern Romance -- hopefully after that, I'll finish off Stephen Moffat's Sherlock.  Meanwhile, I'm reading through David Michaelis' massive and authoritative biography Schultz and Peanuts.

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Mood: [mood icon] contemplative · Music: none
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