What is the purpose of taking a vacation? Is the purpose to relax and enjoy yourself? Is it to remove yourself from whatever is currently your regular day to day routine? Is it to remove yourself from the things that make you stressed so you can experience some relief? Everyone has a different definition or reason for going on vacation.
The reasons vary and range from big to small. Some use it as bonding time with their family. They use those days off they were given (EARNED) by their employer to bond with their loved ones. To create memories that will last forever, special moments. Some use it for a moment to escape “the grind”, the daily commotion that takes up our everyday lives. Some use it for their moment of clarity. They take these days for their own mental health. There are even scenarios where they use these days to extend their weekend and escape the “Monday Blues”. But we are so busy working to EARN or be GIVEN those days off that we sometimes forget or miss the bigger picture.
These days off are usually for a bigger reason than going to Disney, or travelling the world. These days, these feelings, these reasons we are going on vacation are not to experience something new, but something old. It is to experience the feeling of living.
The feeling of living is an old feeling that those of us that work the 9-5 only have a partial view of daily. We only feel this feeling when something very good happens, or when we are removed from our regular routine, that we find “stressful”, “tiresome”, “repetitive”, “unconstructive” and any other adjective that denotes a negative outcome. This is the feeling that we unknowingly look for and need, but do not realize and consider it a desire that some of us can afford. And if we can afford it, it is only in small breaks or gaps. But this is a disillusionment that is simply not true.
When we apply for a job or begin working at a new job, one of the things that is inquired about early on is Vacation Time. If not, what is discussed is commonly referred to as Personal Time Off (PTO). How much do we get, how soon do we earn it, how can we use it, etc. But what they say is, if you have a job that you enjoy greatly, where your work is not work, then you will not look for this vacation time. I think we should expand on that a bit though. While that may be true I feel it needs to be worded a little bit differently. If you have a job that you enjoy greatly, where your work allows you to LIVE, then you will not look for this vacation time.
Having the freedom to live your life and experience things is what creates a work/life balance. This can be created a couple of ways though, that we will reference below.
Feel at home, at work.
It is not so much creating an environment where you are not bringing your work home with you, but more so it is where you are bringing your home to where you work. This is not to say that you should bring your pillows, food, and personal belongings to work. That will probably get you a more permanent situation at home, with no job. What I mean is that you should be as comfortable where you work as you are at home. It may be difficult to grasp but if you can create an environment where your work area is separate from your home environment but still as comfortable then you will feel as productive and your happiness may not decrease as quickly to you wanting or looking for time off.
Work the job you want to leave home for.
Most times, we pick jobs that we are not necessarily thrilled about working. Sometimes because of a necessity to pay bills or survive in the current economic climate we are in we force ourselves onto dead end paths, that lead to dead end jobs. While the necessity of the current moment may drive you to get a certain job, it should not drive you to keep it out of fear. You can still find the job that you want to leave your home for out of desire, not pressure. And more importantly, understand the reason you are looking for a job, if you decide a change is truly necessary. If you are going from one dead end job to another, then you are better off staying put and getting yourself situated better to try for something greater, in the long run.
Commit yourself to working for the future, not the present.
In 2017, we have found ourselves working paycheck to paycheck. This is a nasty habit that has been developing over years and years of the last decade. We think this is living in the moment, but truly we are trapping ourselves to this exact moment. While it is great to live in the moment, that does not mean financially sacrificing or giving up everything so you can only live a certain way. Financial freedom does not have to mean not working. It also can mean being financially stable now, that you can plan for later. The plan for later does not have to mean saving for a vacation. This can mean having the stability later that you can do more than go on a 1-2 week vacation. Maybe you can visit a country for a month, or change your job so you have freedom to travel as you work. The aim is to commit yourself to working for the future, while you enjoy the present.
Whether you find a solution in one of the above ideas, or on your own, we must begin changing our mind state on “vacations”. The quicker we understand why our 9-5 employers are ‘giving’ them to us, the quicker we can understand why we need to be taking them more often than just 2 weeks per year. We need to get back to the point that we are living life and experiencing life for everything that it should offer us. It is entirely up to us to decide whether we want to be part of the picture or just a spectator watching everyone else in the perfect picture. But before you decide to be either, remember you are the artist, and you have the choice to paint it anyway you want. Do not limit yourself to certain colors only based on your time off allowed.
If you agree or disagree with this post please leave me feedback or a comment below! I look forward to all replies I get! And SHARE this post if you found something in it beneficial you feel someone else could use to build themselves up as well. – jae