During a family vacation, there are so many emotions being felt. You cannot wait to unwind and relax with some of your favorite (hopefully) people in the world! Our ever-favorite multiverse big-brother-hating galactic-outlaws Rick and Morty are the perfect example of the infinite possibilities for highs and lows of a family vacation. Like the feeling of falling in love, you cannot wait to experience what life brings you with a new bae at your side. However, as the vacation unfold before you like an ever so predictable parent loving hallmark movie, reality becomes visible and it looks like this.
Stage One: Acceptance
As the first stage, acceptance is important to maintain sanity. Shortly after the call from your mom telling you to start packing for the trip, your mind will recall memories both horrid and pleasant. Accept that you, a human, cannot predict the future or prepare for all the awkward questions. As much as Ricks will be Ricks and Mortys will be Mortys, we need to accept our fate as we jump in the terrifying dimension of family bonding time. Acceptance is very important - if we do not accept the fact that we are going and we want t to have a great time, we will never make it to stage two.
Stage Two: Preparation
Unfortunately, we do not have portal guns yet (as far as we know). We cannot jump into another dimension if something does not go according to plan. Preparation is key to an enjoyable vacation. You need to plan and pack for every single possible weather condition. Check to see if there will be a pool where you are heading; that could be difference between flirting with the cutie in the jacuzzi and staying in your room “Ball Fondlers” all night. You will need to check the weather and plan accordingly. A pro-tip from someone who spends too much time with relatives: start developing your back stories early. No one likes the truth. Your mom does not want to know the truth behind your relationship status. Develop some back stories into your lies so you don’t appear to be a mindless-tweeting diet-loving exercise-hating millennial.
Stage Three: Excitement
You are now a week out from the family trip. You are up to your eye holes in school work. You have had more cups of coffee this week than hours of sleep. The only thing keeping you from dropping everything to become a taco chef on an intergalactic asteroid is the anticipation of the actual vacation to come. You feel like Rick before getting his hands on some mega seeds. You gurgle with excitement at the anticipation of catching up on your favorite podcasts about the history of presidents (Presidential, is seriously a great podcast).
Stage Four: Perseverance
You made it. Rick has swooped down in his space ship and you are on your way to another universe. The problem is you are not actually there yet. You must persevere through the traveling. Depending on if you are in a car, airplane, boat, train, spaceship, or submarine, before you can get to the amusement park inside of Ruben for a week of fun, you must get there. Referencing back to stage 3 will help you as you endure arguing parents, screaming children, obnoxious flight attendants, and the sibling who wants to take too many bathroom breaks. The worst part of traveling is you are trapped inside of a vehicle of some kind. There is no escape.
Stage Five: Joy
Your dreams inside of another person’s dream inside of your friend’s dog’s dream inside of your dreams are about to come true. You have arrived at your HGTV dream location. This is the peak of the vacation. Every possibility is still an uncertainty that could happen. The joy stage is a cyclical stage with the next two stages. So, enjoy the joy while you can. As Rick would say, joy is a very strong, but fleeting high.
Stage Six: Panic
Murphy’s law: anything that can go wrong will go wrong. This is where our inner Morty comes out of all of us. We start to see the horror in our previous joyous actions. We have a great time at a wine tasting to only find our car won’t start. You just left the amusement park to find out you lost your wallet. You get a work call the first morning of your vacation demanding you to send over the files you haven’t started to prep yet. No matter how careful your preparation in stage two, something will always go wrong and try to ruin the vacation. After the initial panic, your entire trip depends on the next stage.
Stage Seven: Adaption
Something has happened, it is time to fix it. This is where our inner Rick comes out of all of us. During panic mode, every family member thinks they are a brilliant scientist trying to save the world. Unfortunately, most of us are more Jerrys who do not know how to get the sound coming through the stereo instead of the TV. During this stage, it is important to keep a cool head as everyone works together to fix the problem(s). Just remember the joy you felt earlier in the vacation.
Stage Eight: Contentment
You had so many high hopes that were dashed or destroyed, now you should be content. Be happy. You have passed over the hill of panic. You have coasted through the adaption stage. Now is not the time to be complacent, but be content. Be happy to be spending time with a family who loves you! Be happy that you have this time out of your busy life to treat yourself! Act as if Rick just have you the best Morty-man-up-motivational-talk ever.
Stage Nine: Resignation
You are resigned that this must end and you must return to the real world soon. Inner Jerry here in Jerry land. You resign that you are okay returning home. Despite the incredible adventures you’ve had, no place is like home. Even if leaving the joy of the vacation is undesirable, it is inevitable. It is time to pack up and head back to the hell that is your life. As Rick would say when contemplating the universe where Hitler cured cancer, “Don’t Think about it.”
Stage Ten: Reminiscing
It has been a week since you left the paradise of your vacation. You remember all the crazy things that happened. You remember how much you love your family, but also you are happy it is over. You may feel pain, and desperately want someone to save you and take you on another vacation. You are already telling your parents to start to plan another one. However, you should just shout “Wubba Lubba Dub Dub!”