Regarding COVID-19: Please recreate responsibly and practice social distancing. Closures and travel restrictions are changing rapidly, always check and respect local regulations.

Is an Outdoor Adventure a Vacation?

If your wanderings are not simply a "vacation", this is for you.

I'm lucky to be granted vacation days at work where I fill out a request, and in most cases get those days-off approved. But every time I return, I’m always asked how my “vacation” was. 

A vacation is defined as an extended period of recreation, especially one spent away from home or in traveling. 

Recently on a western excursion, my partner kept referring to our wanderings as "being on vacation." For some reason, this didn't sit right with me. 

If a vacation is something people take to get away from their lives and do something they enjoy doing, then my outdoor adventures are certainly not vacations.

Because my adventures are my life. 

If my life is something I need a vacation from, I'm not living it right. 

I'm not "taking a break" from things when I leave to go backpacking.

Those trips make up the fabric of how I choose to live my life and the rest of what I do is mostly just filler things until I can go out to the wild again. 

So call my hiking and camping a vacation if you must, but to me, I'm simply living.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Katie Johnson

Alone in the wilderness.