I just got back from a week-long vacation with my partner and the lyrics from the great Rolling Stones song “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” come to mind. It’s been happening more as more as I get older—I feel, for lack of better words, blue-balled by my vacations. When we book the trips, I get so excited. In fact, I probably enjoy looking forward to the trip more than I enjoy actually taking it. Once we are there, it just doesn’t quite live up to what I had in mind. But, it’s not necessarily that any tangible thing about the trip—from the hotel to the fruit cocktails—wasn’t what I expected. It’s more my inability to really connect with that feeling of complete relaxation and, you guessed it, satisfaction. I think the last time I felt the true freedom and weightlessness that vacation can bring was in my college years. And I was trying to figure out why that is. I have some theories on why it’s harder to relax on vacation as you get older.
Your savings are becoming more precious
With each passing year, you have a more realistic view of how much money you need to save in order to not just retire at a reasonable age, but also to retire comfortably. Let’s not forget about the prospect of buying a house. I’m reaching a point when my partner and I would like to do that, and as we watch housing prices in our desired neighborhoods rise and rise, we realize that our savings just aren’t what they need to be to reach our goals. So it’s just harder to spend money on vacation and not feel a little bad about it.