Vacations and Aphantasia

I have never gotten much enjoyment out of vacations.  They usually seem like more trouble than they are worth.

I’ve only had one vacation that I enjoyed.  That vacation involved going back to my old university and hanging out at the math department for a few days.   While there, I attended a seminar in abstract algebra and enjoyed it even if I didn’t pay all that much attention to abstract algebra as a graduate student.

This was while I still knew some of the grad students and a number of profs in the department.  It’s now forty years since that vacation and I’m sure that every math prof I knew there has gone elsewhere or retired.

But for vacations like going to some city or national park or something, they just don’t soak in much.  After learning about aphantasia, I began to wonder if that might be the cause — I can’t visualize anything of my vacation and so I can’t really relive it or daydream about it.

It’s kind of odd because I’m not really a people person — I’m perfectly happy to go for days without talking to anyone — but if I go on vacation, I get a lot more out of visiting old friends and doing things with them like playing snooker or going somewhere to eat.

Does anyone else encounter problems with enjoying vacations? Do you get anything out of trying to remember your vacations?  What kind of vacations do you prefer?

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I never thought about it, but I hate travel vacations. I always thought it was because of motion sickness, but you are right… why go somewhere if I wont remember and be able to “see” the beautiful, unique sites over again in my head. I have other vision issues that keep me from noticing details in objects, so I probably wouldnt have the same appreciation for new things as others might because I would miss most of the details. And traveling to a new place, all my mental energy would be spent making sure I didnt get lost, so I have bothing left over to absorb all the wonderful differences and content. 

I don’t have aphantasia. I am able to visualize the images of best parts of my vacation. Sometimes its like a movie clip of a moment I experienced playing in my head. Sometimes I can visualize new images or even an action sequence like a clip in my head. I am very curious to know how do you recall memories in that case? This is what I want to know about those who have aphantasia.

I have aphantasia, and I love to travel, see new places. Yes I can not recall (see) memories of my vacations, but I have wonderful memories of what I did, wear I went, what time of day…etc. I also journal day by day my vacation and always take lots of pictures. 

I’ve never thought about it that way! I’ve had arguments with my parents because I’ve never felt as if the experience was worth it. I’ve been thinking for a while that pictures are just as good as the real thing, but maybe thats just because I have no idea what the real thing actually looks like. Part of my dislike for traveling probably also comes from how most of them I go on aren’t really of my own volition, most just parents wanting to visit some national park or another. But my favorite parts of vacations has also been the times where I get to sit down with some of the family friends and play cards or charades or something along those lines. I also think fondly on my trips to visit family because I don’t really see them that often.

In general, if I’m going to go somewhere, whether for business or pleasure, I prefer the trip to last long enough to remember well.  Fly in, spend the day, and fly out just doesn’t cut it much for me.

I think that my ideal vacation that didn’t involve visiting old friends would be an extended horseback trip into the Canadian wilderness, maybe to go fishing on a very remote lake.  While the trip would be mostly a blur, I think that it would give enough time to retain some of the experience.

So @charles peck: when you remember what you wore on your vacation or what time, how does that memory appear to you? I want to know how people with aphantasia feel when they recall a memory. Do you hear your memories (voices, sounds, etc)? Or do you remember the feelings you felt? 

I have hyperphantasia. So i usually see those images flash in my head. i can recall the sounds and voices along with the scenes in my head