A vacation or holiday is a leave of absence from a regular occupation, or a specific trip or journey, usually for the purpose of recreation or tourism. People often take a vacation during specific holiday observances, or for specific festivals or celebrations. Vacations are often spent with friends or family. A person may take a longer break from work, such as a sabbatical, gap year, or career break.
The concept of taking a vacation is a recent invention, and has developed through the last two centuries. Historically, the idea of travel for recreation was a luxury that only wealthy people could afford. In the Puritan culture of early America, taking a break from work for reasons other than weekly observance of the Sabbath was frowned upon. However, the modern concept of vacation was led by a later religious movement encouraging spiritual retreat and recreation. The notion of breaking from work periodically took root among the middle and working class.
Long considered an undiscovered gem among Francophiles and in-the-know Americans, the French-Caribbean archipelago of Guadeloupe is an increasingly sought-after destination among sun seekers and nature lovers. Many of the beaches here, particularly on the outer islands, are unspoiled, and the mountainous Parc National de la Guadeloupe offers miles of hiking trails through tropical rain forests. Room rates at deluxe resorts drop by as much as 40 percent over the summer, making Guadeloupe a budget-friendly summer getaway.
Also, off-season in the summer, Miami continues to draw visitors, especially Europeans and South Americans escaping winter. To keep cool in the blazing heat, you need only take a dip in the Atlantic, Biscayne Bay, or an infinity pool. You’ll be able to spread out on South Beach, plus people-watching on Lincoln Road and Miami Beach’s epic nightlife will be as entertaining as ever.
The “Red City” of Marrakesh is a magical place, brimming with markets, gardens, palaces, and mosques. Exploring the intimate courtyards and snaking alleyways of the historic Medina can easily eat up a day. Find inner peace at the serene Jardin Majorelle or take in the beauty of one of the city’s historic mosques (taking note that, unless you are Muslim, you are not allowed to enter).
Cape Town glistens at the southern toe of the African continent. Tourist brochure-views at Blaauwberg Beach and Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens are within easy driving distance of “The Mother City.” The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve provides sweeping sea vistas, hiking trails and wildlife encounters. On a more somber note, travellers can visit Robben Island, the prison where Nelson Mandela was held for 27 years.
DIANI BEACH, KENYA
About an hour south of Mombasa, the sparkling white sands and lush greenery of Diani invite you to relax under a beach umbrella with a refreshing drink. Try a camel ride for the tourist experience or book a bike tour inland for a glimpse of life in local villages. Diani is also a base for several safari companies.
VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE
Rainbows are cool. But what trumps rainbows? Moonbows. If you visit Victoria Falls during a full moon, the light of the moon through the the waterfall spray produces a lunar rainbow, or moonbow. More of a daredevil? Then try what’s been called the world’s best white-water rafting.
The Zanzibar Archipelago, located in the Indian Ocean 15 miles off the coast of Tanzania, is a breathtaking spot to escape from the world. You’ll enjoy clear, turquoise-blue water; shallow sandbars perfect for wading; and many small, nearly deserted islands virtually uninvited by tourists. Explore the World Heritage Site of Stone Town, Zanzibar City’s old quarter. Or just go beach to beach between tiny fishing villages—each one’s better than the next.
By: Umaru Maryam Hadejia