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The most relaxing vacation you can take is going nowhere at all

Vacation is exhausting when you go places. It’s often a time of awkward experiences—donning bathing suits, struggling with foreign tongues, trying to have fun where you know no one and none of the customs. That’s anything but relaxing.

The only kind of break that doesn’t require a follow-up vacation is the type you should consider in the first place—the staycation.

Remaining close to home—or just in it, hanging out—leaves you refreshed and provides perspective. And it may be the key to your next great idea.

SOMETHING FROM NOTHING

You have nothing to prove on your time off. That’s the point. Wandering through your neighborhood slowly, drinking leisurely coffees, visiting the exhibits and boutiques you always mean to see, picnicking in the parks you rarely enjoy, spending hours perusing the bookstore, listening to music, dancing in your house, hanging out with friends, having long talks or going on long runs or doing nothing at all, washes your eyes and spirit.

THE ART OF HANGING OUT

There are many ways to staycation. If you’re intent on doing new things, and just can’t let go of the notion of goals, you can do that. Make a list of all the activities you’d engage in or all the places you’d visit if you were a tourist and not a local and go there. Revel in the place you make home.

Or decide which books you must read, which movies you must see, commit to an intense athletic practice or some kind of extreme eating regime that would be inconvenient during a work week. Take up meditation. Vow not to speak. Ignore social media. Experiment with the notions that intrigue you but you can’t get around to normally, like doing nothing, for example.

There are endless options, given the money you’re not spending on lodging elsewhere. Your staycation can be comprised of local luxuries—fine dining in fancy outfits, going to plays, shopping. It can be rigorously planned or unfold slowly, like a mystery. Although it’s a bizarre notion for some of us, it really is possible to make no plans and revel in no schedule.

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