Tuesday, June 2, 2009


There's a new type of work hybrid in town: instead of work and leisure, we've got a special term just for the summer of '09! That hybrid is called "weisure," and the term was coined by New York University sociologist Dalton Conley, author of "Elsewhere, U.S.A." Since many of us have long workweeks full of responsibilities, Conley states, people are more likely to get on their smartphone while at a family gathering, or do a little networking via Facebook at work. With all of this stress in our professional lives and the crossover between work and play, we definitely need to find a good locale for our Weisure Time during vacation.

If you're looking for something slightly exotic but not too far from North America, Central America is a great choice. Try Guatemala, located south of Mexico, for a glimpse at some amazing ecosystems as well as Mayan temples and stunning highlands. Take that smartphone along with you as you settle into El Convento Boutique Hotel, which is located by La Antigua's famous cobblestone streets and combines modern elements with Guatemala's ancient past. Their excellent service is complemented by the fantastic rooms and great view of La Antigua's 18th century Capuchin convent. Even if you do have some work to take along with you, you'll probably forget about assignments for a few minutes while you relax with a goblet of fine wine at your hotel. On an early morning when you're away from the internet, visit Parque Central and its popular fountain located right in the middle, and then meander towards the Arco de Santa Catalina, one of the many notable architectural highlights in La Antigua.

Those avoiding cities might want to try out Costa Rica's resort options, such as the Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort in Costa Rica's northern region, at the foot of the Arenal Volcano. Nothing quite beats the rush of hot thermal springs piped straight from the volcano's still-active core. Be sure to snap pictures of the volcano during your stay, especially if you see it without clouds at the top, which is considered good luck. Take home a picture to put on your desktop during weisure time, and don't forget that the resort offers other outdoorsy activities like white water rafting, rappelling, kayaking, canopy tours, nature cruises, and caving. The Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort might have a minimum stay of two nights, but you'll find that that's hardly enough advantage of all that's available to do at Arenal Volcano National Park.

Wherever you decide to take your Weisure Break, make it a gorgeous spot. Central America's just the ticket this season!

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