What on earth is a ‘Staycation’?

You may have heard the term ‘Staycation’ bandied about lately, and wondered what it meant.  I have the explanation for you.  ‘Staycation’ comes from the word ‘Vacation’ with the ‘Va’ removed.  ‘Va’ incidentally in Spanish means ‘Go’.  The ‘Va’ is replaced with ‘Stay’ which incidentally in English means ‘Do Not Go.’

So there you have it – do not go on a vacation (at least very far).  The idea behind this concept is that you should explore the areas close to home – you don’t have to travel very far to find interesting things to do or places to stay.  We often neglect what is near at hand as it doesn’t seem exotic enough or we have become so accustomed to our own milieu that we have ceased to see it as interesting.

Campbell River and area draws tourists from around the world who are enthralled by our mountains, oceans and forests – not to mention wildlife, all contained on this one island.  Tourists take whale watching and bear watching tours, hungry for a glimpse of wildlife that we take for granted is just ‘there’.  I’m not saying that local residents are not thrilled to see the Orcas coming through the passage, or don’t marvel at eagles in the spring, but it wouldn’t occur to many of us to actually book a tour on the water, in order to get a closer look.

I have often been astonished at where people have not been and what they don’t know about their own area.  I once took a group of ten adult tourism students who were all from Campbell River to April Point for a field trip.  Out of the ten, only one had been there before, and knew that you could take the shuttle across from Painter’s Lodge free of charge, to just visit and enjoy the restaurant or spa there, or rent a scooter for the day.  I organized several field trips to the Museum, Art Gallery, Maritime Heritage Museum and Quadra Island and the students were always impressed and surprised at what wonderful places there were to visit close at hand.

I have other stories about what people don’t know about their own area, but one that stands out to me, was told to me by brother, who was visiting Campbell River for the first time.  He happened to discuss his plans with a local store clerk to take Highway 28 and go into Strathcona Provincial Park.  “Why do you want down Westin Rd.?” she asked, “There’s nothing there”.

Luckily my brother was on his way to visit me at Strathcona Park Lodge where I was working that summer and was not discouraged by her comment.  When we drove along the winding road skirting Buttle Lake, he was so astonished by the towering mountains and stunning view, he nearly went off the road a couple of times!  Is that kind of scenery ‘nothing’?  I guess it is all a matter of perception. And speaking of perception, start your ‘Staycation’ now and see Campbell River and area through the eyes of a tourist.  You just might be amazed!

Sea Urchins at April Point

Sea Urchins at April Point

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