Is it a Vacation or a Holiday?

When I was a kid I lived next door to a family from England. We lived out in the country about a mile from town and were the only two houses on the land. They had two boys that were around my age so we became very close friends. They moved here (central Iowa) from just outside of London because their father was relocated here for work. They only lived here for a few years and that was 20 years ago (at the time of writing this) so those days are long gone.

When we were younger they would come here to visit every summer and I even went over to England one summer and stayed with them for an entire month. Now that we are older the yearly visits have stopped. However, we have remained friends and still talk every once in a while to this day.

Being a kid in the Midwest of the United States, I had never known anyone from another country, so I always got a kick out of the way they talked. Obviously they spoke English but it wasn’t the same. There are a lot of things that they have different words for than we do here in the USA, and we’ve all heard that famous British accent.

It didn’t take me long to figure out what they were referring to when they called certain objects different names than what I would call them. It even got to the point where many of my friends at school would ask me what the “English” word was for various items. Usually it was the same but sometimes I got to be cool and show off my new language. As a kid that was always fun.

Now, that I have this travel blog there is one word in particular that keeps coming back to me over and over again from all those years ago… Holiday. I distinctly remember that one driving me crazy when I was a kid for some reason. I just couldn’t wrap my head around why they called it that.

To me a “holiday” is something like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, etc… But to them it meant a vacation. If I plan a weeklong trip to Mexico (or wherever) then I would say I am going on vacation. They would say they are going on holiday.

Now that I am older and (slightly) wiser, I know that many countries call a vacation a holiday, and vice versa. That’s fine with me; I know that nobody is right or wrong when they say either of them. But looking back and hearing my childhood friends say, “holiday” in their heavily accented voices, and seeing myself argue with them about how it should be “vacation” brings me back to a simpler time when I had nothing more to worry about in life than how words were said, and it still makes me laugh!

So, what is the point to this post? Honestly, I have no idea. I don’t really think there is one. I was just sitting here thinking about traveling and blogging. Then, my thoughts roamed to my childhood days. What you read above is the result of that.

Before I go, I do have one question for you…

When you plan a trip to travel to Jamaica, Belize, Saint Tropez, Bora Bora, Rome, Paris, Brazil, or any of the thousands of other amazing places all around the world, do you say you are taking a vacation or going on holiday? I’d be curious to see how many of my readers call it one or the other.