tripping: part 1: how to know if you're on vacation

Have you ever woken up in a different state and wondered, "am I on vacation? Am I taking a trip? Or have I just experienced a period of lost time that in a few years we will come to understand was merely the first sign of the emergence of multiple personality disorder and my rapid descent into complete insanity?"

This doesn't look like Seattle... and I don't think I've ever seen this rash guard before...

Before we dive into today's quiz, let's review the terms we'll be working with here.

A VACATION is a period of time in which you depart from your normal schedule and lifestyle to dedicate yourself to relaxation and fun.

A TRIP is a vacation, only you don't depart from your normal schedule so much as just move it to a different zip code, and instead of relaxation and fun, you have logistics and rashes.

A PSYCHOTIC BREAK is a common side effect of too many trips and not enough vacations.

Got it?


Take this quick, 5-question quiz to help you determine whether you are on vacation, a trip, or the road to a complete psychological snap.


1. It's breakfast time! Do you:

a) order room service and sit on the balcony in your bath robe, reading, until it arrives.
b) attempt to locate a frying pan in the rental house and end up cooking scrambled eggs in a Dutch oven. They turn out fine but nobody eats them except you, after you pick them up off the floor.
c) write CHICKEN AND BISCUITS on the wall in your own feces.

2. You hear about an amazing Cuban cafe with live music on Thursday nights. You immediately:

a) swing by that adorable boutique you saw yesterday - a girl needs a sexy dress for live music!
b) dig a package of fruit snacks out of your diaper bag and eat them in one gummy gob. Someday, you think... someday there will be music again...
c) knife a stranger.

which one will it be

3. The sun is out and the pool is sparkling. What's in your beach bag?

a) your room key, cash for poolside cocktails and snacks, a novel, a silk cover-up, your phone and earbuds.
b) rented minivan key, band-aids, SPF 55 sunblock, nut-free nonperishable travel snacks in single-serving baggies, swim diapers, baby diapers, toddler diapers, three sets of spare clothing, water bottles, wide-brimmed waterproof hats with chin clips, four pacifiers.
c) dried blood and ten copies of Malcolm X's autobiography.

4. Why are you running?

a) for exercise and pleasure. Because a run sounded nice. Because I can.
b) THE FRONT DOOR IS OPEN AND CHICKEN IS GONE JESUS GOD JESUS GOD JESUS GOD oh he was in the bathroom tasting my shampoo.
c) because OF COURSE I DIDN'T START THAT FIRE but the men in black will find me if I'm questioned by the police.

5. As you pack your bags on your last night in paradise, you can't help but think:

a) We should really do this more often.
b) We should never do this again.
c) All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All polyester and no aspirin makes Jack a middling lounge singer. All tarantula and no ambivalence makes Jack Jill. All high fives and no octopuses makes Jack a surly porpoise.

Tally up your answers and let's review your results!

Mostly a's:

You're on vacation, asshole. Rub it in, why don't you. Don't forget to Facebook a million pictures of daquiris and beach books and sea turtles and liberty.

Mostly b's:

party wagon

You're on a trip. Go buy yourself a bottle of Kendall Jackson, a fanny pack, and some Children's Motrin. You WILL be going to Urgent Care sometime in the next week.

Mostly c's:

Sshhhh... you're fine. It's the world that's gone mad.


  1. And my day is made. Brilliant effort, girl. Meet ya in Urgent Care ...

  2. Am on vacation, whoops, I mean trip right now. Hoping we don't get to option c...