Vacations Are For Looking Back

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” ~ Anonymous

A study was conducted among 1,500 individuals in order to determine the “happiness staying power” associated with two distinct types of vacations. One group’s vacation was defined as a Rest and Relaxation vacation, while the other group’s vacation was defined as a Discoverer, New Experience vacation.

The study found that the sense of happiness associated with Rest and Relaxation vacations, including laying on the beach, reading, and doing little of anything, faded as quickly as their tans.  Those individuals who took the Discover New Experience vacations such as; visiting off-the-beaten-path environments rooted in culture, history and heritage reported still being “happy” more than two months after returning home from their vacation.

Today more than ever, vacation travelers are trying to maximize their precious leisure time by selecting destinations that provide visitors with a deeper sense of emotional experiences rather than simply providing them with some form of diversion.

It just so happens that Lee’s Summits’ distinctive culture and richly textured traditions provide the ideal backdrop for visitors to glimpse back in time to truly appreciate the fact that their lives are headed in the right direction.

As usual the baby boomer generation represents the largest percentage of leisure, as well as business travelers. In fact, four-out-of-five boomers have taken at least one vacation in the past year. They’re also the driving force for multi-generational vacation trips, seeing it as an opportunity to reconnect with their adult children and grandchildren. Rest assured that they’re not going along to baby-sit the grandkids. They’re active and healthy and because they are more financially secure, they wind up paying for the


The smart money is on how the boomers will continue to impact the travel industry. That’s right, the very same group who invented the defining generational question, “Are we there yet?” Back then they had little patience for what seemed like long, uninterrupted road trips (no iPhones, Kindles or iPods back in the day).

We measure life one memory at a time and happiness has to do with emotional experiences bringing meaning to life. These experiences are stored away as memories. These memories become our personal keepsakes that will live on within us forever. One invaluable side of all this is that we have instant access to these memories, when our cycle of life becomes too overwhelming and we need a time-out.

Lee’s Summit is the kind of place where visitors immediately feel right at home. There is a whole different small town rhythm of life going on here that dramatically changes the way you see your life. When you visit Lee’s Summit, you get the distinct feeling that each and every moment is overflowing with possibilities.  This makes it the ideal place for visitors to discover a new-found energy that will defy their traditional vacation expectations, bringing more meaning to their life while allowing them to hold onto the memories they hold dear.

 James E McKenna is the Community Marketing Director for the City of Lee’s Summit.