Get Away With Fran

October 21, 2009

Stressed in Boston – but maybe a Princess Cruise will help

Filed under: Cruise,Travel Advice,U.S. — Tags: , , , , , , , — admin @ 5:58 am

Even travel writers have off days and I was having one yesterday. But today I woke up with a new, and better, attitude because it turns out I live in one of the most stressed out cities in America. So I am not alone.

My epiphany came courtesy of Princess Cruises, which has released the results of a Harris Interactive survey it commissioned on – get this – Life Balance (gee, can you tell the cruiseline is based in California?).

My city, Boston, tops the list of  places where people’s lives are not in balance, as in, we are crazy stressed out or, presumably, lead unbalanced existences. More stressed out than Beantown, is Chicago and Houston and rounding out the list is Los Angeles and San Diego.

Cities where people are more mellow. or at least claim to have balance in their lives, are Miami, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Las Vegas and Dallas/Fort Worth (hot and lively, boring, boring, crazy lively, boring, so go figure).

The survey, according to the surveyors, finds “Americans continue to strive for the ultimate life balance, which includes juggling work and personal priorities” but concludes “only approximately one-quarter of people in the U.S. actually have achieved this goal.” Gee, and you thought cruise lines were all about happy, happy, fun, fun, fun.

But wait, more than 53% of respondents say they believe they will achieve life balance in the next five years. And this of course being a marketing opportunity and all, Jan Swartz, exec v.p. of Princess, says their cruises offer the “perfect escape” from our everyday lives, and that “one of the key enablers to living a balanced life” is a vacation.

The cruiseline even quotes a noted “stress expert,” Dr. Kathleen Hall, who says dealing with stress is important, and that, “A crucial element to maintaining life balance is taking breaks and vacations.”

So of course, I am wondering why I as a travel writer, who travels frequently, and takes breaks (because even though I am working, there is usually free time when I’m away too) is feeling stressed. Hmmm, must be because I live in Boston. Minneapolis, here I come.

1 Comment »

  1. Fran,

    I think that being stressed is just part of OUR “being” … I know lots of people that do not seem stressed out at all – of course they don’t get anything done either! As a reminder, I’m the travel photographer that just met you on the bus with Viking Cruise in Europe.

    First off … all of my good intentions of contacting you as soon as I got home from our Viking Cruise some how got swallowed up in dirty laundry, 30 days worth of mail, taking care of mom, and oh yeah … editing the over 11,000 images! Sorry for being so slow & STRESSED!

    I just wanted to tell you how much I really enjoyed chatting with you on the bus. Most people think that we have the perfect jobs … don’t get me wrong, WE DO … but what they don’t realize is that it’s a lot of hard work too. It was nice to talk to somebody that understands ;)

    I hope that you are happy with all of your camera shots and have had time to sort through them. Overall, I’m quite pleased with my photos from the trip. I have everything sorted, color corrected, captioned and processed for my agent through Budapest. Next week I will be sending my agent about 2,000 from the first half of the trip … and then I get to start on the second half …. whew!

    At least I came home to lots of travel catalogs, and the first 6 I looked at included some of my images including: Country Walkers, Geographic Expeditions, Wilderness Travel, Vantage, Holland America, and National Geographic Traveler (page 100, Tibetan door photo is mine). So, hopefully this will translate into a nice check so I can travel some more!

    That’s it for now. Let me know if you are ever in need of some photos!


    Cindy Miller Hopkins
    3210 Electra Drive, N.
    Colorado Springs, CO 80906

    Comment by Cindy Miller Hopkins — October 23, 2009 @ 7:38 am

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