Vacation Life

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Vacations, there is nothing quite like them. But sometimes it’s hard to check out of your life to take one. I am writing this after a 9-day holiday in Brazil that I was unsure about before I left. I know, boo hoo, it sounds so pretentious but it’s true I was on the fence about whether I wanted or could leave. There were difficulties with the company; there was the expense of international travel; there were problems with the visas required by US citizens traveling to Brazil. It all seemed to be more stressful than relaxing. But in the end my wife dragged me kicking and screaming to the airport and stripped me of all the communication devices I rely on. Sitting there on the plane I felt anxious and worried about the things I left behind.

Flash forward 18 hours. It’s 3:00 in the morning; Lish and I are pounding beers named “Antarctica” driving through the Brazilian countryside in the pouring rain in the shittiest car ever built. I felt reborn, 5 years younger and more alive than I could remember. Well, needless to say, it was an incredible trip – one that we will never forget. I’m left looking back and thinking who was this person that didn’t want to go on vacation?

For my own edification I have decided to compile the top five reasons for taking a holiday in hopes that I can look back on this blog post and remind my self what it is I learned in Brazil. Maybe there is something in here you can relate to?

1.) New sights, sounds and people spark creativity. If you feel creatively exhausted, it may have something to do with your environment. If you’re in the grind, (grinding away) you may have put the blinders on and lost that precious opportunity to see and feel new things. A vacation forces this on you. Being emerged in a new environment will spark the inner desire for outside stimulus, which leads to exploration. Exploration leads to creativity, or rather the desire to create.

2.) You are starting to get boring to be around. “Yes, we’ve heard that story before” is what your friends will say politely. Your wife and family will be more blunt, “Dude, you are boring the hell out of me. No, I don’t want to hear more about your week at work.” It may be time to gather up a few more anecdotes by going on holiday. It always comes to the surface when someone decides to work for a living rather than live for a living. Don’t be that guy.

3.) You need to reconnect. The core times of my days are spent at work doing work things, which leaves grumpy mornings and tired evenings with my wife. The weekends are sometimes so crammed with errands, and obligations, I can’t even make a phone call to my brother or parents. Use vacations to reconnect with wife, family and friends. Plan vacations far enough in advance to coordinate with people that you want to invite along and reconnect with.

4.) Vacations are fun. They may be a hassle to plan but they are supposed to be fun. If you can’t remember the last time you had fun, take a vacation. The point is to have and extended period of time in which you don’t have to keep a hundred things in the air. If you can take some time and let loose, you are going to have fun no matter what it is or where you go.

5.) You need fresh air. You may think you get out of the city enough, but you don’t. When you do get out it doesn’t really average out against all the daylight hours you spend in the office. Fresh air and sunlight are often undervalued and this is one of the great things about vacationing. If you’re not getting ample amounts of fresh air and sunlight on your holidays, it’s time to get a new travel agent.

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