Why do we go on vacation?

Mout of the house in the morning, home in the evening. Out of the house in the morning, home in the evening. Out of the house in the morning, home in the evening. Unfortunately, this is how life is for most people. And the apartment gets dirtier and dirtier, so there is cleaning and washing at the weekend and the tax returns and all the other nonsense that adults have to deal with are left behind. Then people sigh, sit down at their desks and do the same.

It’s a big misconception that adults just don’t play because they don’t feel like it. Only a few very, very boring people do. Most people just don’t have the time, and when they do, they feel bad that they’re not doing some insanely important adult stuff. Most of the time it feels like the homework never ends being an adult.

In order not to have homework and to be able to play in peace, adults have to leave the house and preferably also the city or country they live in. Then they book a hotel somewhere nice or sunny and do what they have fancy. In fact, they don’t do anything all day long other than what children love to do, namely tumbling and playing, they just call it something else. They talk about relaxation and recreation. Sometimes they invent even funnier words for it, like wellness. It sounds better and they can feel more grown up doing it.


Image: FAZ

In addition, adults do something that children do not understand: they spend hours looking at the countryside. It’s really hard to explain, but adults are obsessed with the landscape. The sea, which is so blue, the mountains, which with a little luck are still a little white on top, the sun, which sets completely red – they can’t get enough of it, while the children get nervous and bored to death. The adults just sit around and sigh and keep saying things like “Oh, it’s nice here!” You have to understand that, that’s just the way they are. They rarely see anything beautiful, but see gray file cabinets and gray desks and gray walls all day long and only a few sad plants. That’s why they have to fill up trees and meadows and beaches, so they can stay in the office for a while again.

And one more thing: At some point they will get along with each other again. This goes on for a few days where they are still as irritated as ever and they keep wanting to get rid of everyone because they are so used to it, to keep the work off their backs. But then they realize that no one wants anything more than to bring them coffee or pizza, and they relax and don’t always look away, but instead look other people in the eye. For people, holidays are a bit like rescuing a circus animal from a cage that is too narrow, and it no longer has to perform tricks. At least for two or three weeks a year, and that’s better than nothing.

Even more answers to curious children's questions

Even more answers to curious children’s questions

An illustrated selection of articles from our column “How do I explain it to my child?” is published by Reclam.

To the publisher’s page

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