Going Away by Staying Home


Contributing Editor
Walt Pickut

Staycation! It’s been a buzz-word for years now. Here’s why:

  • Vacationing at home costs less than a round-the world cruise or plane fare and hotels at any one of a hundred big-ticket resorts by the beach, in the mountains, or on a desert island.
  • You decide to finally go see those nearby places that you’ve always said you should go see someday. But you’ll never do it unless you just go do it.
  • Getting away is so much work. You get home and feel like you need a vacation from your vacation.

But this year, we’ve all been staying home much more than we wanted to, much more than ever, as a matter of fact. The trouble is that we’ve been sort of locked in, or at least locked away from our own communities. And we’ve missed that—those friends, places, and hometown events.

So why escape on vacation even farther from all the people and things right here at home that you’ve been missing? Stick around and get reacquainted with your own hometown, your neighborhood, and your neighbors. A staycation might be just the right prescription for this summer and this year’s Independence Day.

What could be a better way than celebrating the 4th of July on a beautiful summer evening outdoors with friends and family and everybody else right here at home you’ve hardly seen for a year. The annual carnival of lights, and sound, and remembrance could be just the thing.

Henry James, considered by many to be among the greatest novelists in the English language once said “I think patriotism is like charity—it begins at home.”

This is a summer when we can all help in rebuilding our communities and have real vacation kinds of fun doing it. Celebrating and traveling locally and enjoying nearby recreations keeps both you and your money right in the game, right here at home.

There’s a serious side to this year’s 4th of July celebration, too. It’s a summer when our country needs healing from more wounds and woes than most years. Consider the place where you live and your connection to it.

“I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.” – Abraham Lincoln

But on the other hand, there’s always a lighter side to a 4th of July staycation. Remember Erma Bombeck? She once observed:

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics were kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.”

So, wherever you go or stay this 4th of July, make it a special one.

Happy 4th from your Jamestown Gazette. Enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut

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Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.