Going on vacation, as rewarding as it may be, can also be exhausting. Just ask anyone who has ever tried to make the most of their vacation days by working up to the last minute before taking off, and then immediately returning to work with not even a weekend or an extra day off to recover. It is not uncommon for said vacationers to come back declaring they need a vacation to recover from their vacation.

The unemployed, as ridiculous as it may be, have it even worse when it comes to taking time off for a vacation. For starters, many unemployed people from this recession are basically already on a paid vacation – courtesy of the government. They are essentially paid to do nothing with the expectation that they continuously job hunt in order to receive unemployment benefits. While they might be struggling to make ends meet while desperately pretending to look for a job, at least they’re able to do it from the comforts of their own home, in front of the TV, wearing the same pajamas for days. That alone draws envy from scores of employed people who would kill for a couple of days off to meander like the unemployed.

So when the unemployed actually decide they need a break from being paid to do nothing and head out on a vacation, they end up being surprised by the toll it might take. After getting accustomed to not leaving the house for days at a time and pathetically trying to make up for inactivity by killing themselves to complete backed up errands, having to balance time with leisure, relaxation, and fruitful activity can be somewhat incomprehensible for the unemployed. A real vacation is very different from a forced-time-off vacation.

Days of eating out, visiting friends, site seeing, and experiencing sun for the first time in ages can leave the unemployed feeling invigorated. A few days into the vacation and the unemployed might even appear to radiate positivity and a newfound optimism for finding a new job so that the next time they travel, they can actually afford it. “This is exactly what I needed” is a thought that runs through a vacationing unemployed soul’s mind, finally ready to return to the grind.

And then the unemployed face the daunting return home – a seemingly endless road journey, multiple layover flights, overbooked Greyhound buses – whatever was the cheapest option to get away no longer seems as grand getting back. When they finally get back to find their email inbox empty, answering machine blank save for automated telemarketers, gone is that optimism. “Forget it, I’m hiding out in bed for a few more days,” is the thought that runs through their defeated and exhausted minds. “I need a vacation for this vacation from my vacation.”

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