What is fun?

My 17 year old grandson, Dan, is coming to visit for a long weekend. He wants to have fun. I asked him what that meant to him. What does he deem as fun? He quickly replied, “Not look at paintings!” I responded, “Well, I can’t promise that.” We decided to ask other people his age what they would be doing. I have a client who is taking her son and his friend to London and Paris for a couple weeks. They are going to be visiting plenty of galleries so that didn’t really help. Another one of my clients, the family of two teenage boys, is going to Alaska all on land. Lots of hiking and kayaking, however that is just a bit much for me! Then I began to ask, “What is fun?” Carnival Cruise line markets the ‘Fun Ship.’ Does that make it more fun than Crystal Cruise line? Is fun different for different people? What makes the difference; age, education, experiences, up bringing, culture or a combination of these?

I began a little research…

The dictionary states ‘fun’ as a noun, something that provides mirth or amusement; as a verb, to joke or kid; as an adjective, whimsical, flamboyant; or as a synonym, merriment, pleasure, play, gaiety. When was the last time I had gaiety or merriment in my life? Well, the last time I traveled of course! When we are experiencing merriment, pleasure, and gaiety, and we are usually laughing at this point. Is laughing the extreme of fun? As to laugh so hard we fall off our chairs? Is this fun too? If you saw me fall off my chair, I’d bet you would think that was fun…

Maybe when we are young having fun is our main pursuit in life. We tell simple jokes and simply laugh! Maybe as we ‘grow up’ that kind of fun is not enough. We want more. We know fun makes us feel good inside, changes our spirit, our face, our attitude. We still want to laugh hard but find other things that also bring us that fun. Like traveling to visit my very young granddaughter. She brings me much merriment and pleasure just watching her and knowing who she is.

What else can bring us fun? I guess lots of things. How about reaching our goals? Experiencing what others have accomplished? Helping others reach their goals of traveling the world? Traveling includes looking at great art, architecture, reading the literature, and hearing the music of different cultures. Even if I can not appreciate all the intricacies, I am told by those who know, they are great. I know the artists, authors, and composers’ goals were reached. And that makes me feel good.
What makes me feel really good is when my life makes a difference in someone else’s and I make them smile. That is fun. So back to Dan, my grandson, I know I make a difference in his life. And in that long weekend he comes to visit me in Boston, I am sure we will discover many things (other than paintings) that will change our spirit, makes us smile, and at best, make us laugh.

About alwaysharriet

With thirty years experience in corporate and leisure travel consulting, Harriet Ahouse has traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean and worldwide. An avid scuba diver, she understands the requirements of travelers both on land and in the water. On the European scene she has offered traditional and personalized travel itineraries throughout the continent--Italy, France, and England are some of her favorites. As a Virtuoso Agent, she also has extensive resources to enhance her expertise in designing individual destination travel itineraries--and honeymoons--worldwide!
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