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Sarasota News Leader September 20, 2013 OPINION Page 92 PLANNING A TRIP IS ITS OWN FORM OF ADVENTURE By Harriet Cuthbert Contributing Writer COMMENTARY Recently, a friend told me he was planning a trip to the West Coast to visit his sons and his grandson. And as I thought about his excursion, I realized I have my own personal definitions regarding various types of travel, especially the difference between a trip and a vacation. "Trip" can mean a business excursion, something arduous or possibly enjoyable, but still some kind of obligatory assignment from your manager or a necessity related to your job description. For many people, the act of "going on a business trip" connotes having a prestigious job wherein your company pays you to show up and represent it. In other words, the firm respects and trusts your expertise and hopes it can benefit from them. And you, the traveler, might enjoy staying at nice hotels and eating at high-end restaurants (maybe even in interesting locales), all "on the company's dime," so to speak. And let us not forget the fun of earning frequent flyer miles if an airplane is required for transportation. A second kind of trip involves visiting family/ relatives. Whether you fly or drive to your destination, the end result is the same — you are going to check in with your loved ones. That is your priority on this trip. You might get lucky and have relatives who live in a city or country you have always wanted to explore. Then you can combine the family visit with the bonus of sightseeing. But, usually, this does not happen on a trip, because family takes precedence (aka time), and you have not seen these particular relatives because you have been busy. Additionally, many times on these types of trips, family members practically force you to stay with them, which means you miss out on the pleasure of spending time in a hotel and making all your own decisions about the activities you pursue. All of the above leads me to that wonderful word, "vacation." Aaaaaahhh. Just writing the word makes me feel much better. I can envision the wrinkles fading and a smile appearing on my face. Planning a vacation is always a positive experience, always something excellent to anticipate. The results will be worth your time in planning the details. You will be taking time off from work; leaving your daily routine behind; going to a brand-new place that might be on your bucket list; and feeling great about spending your hard-earned money on a vacation that is just for you, with no strings attached.

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