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How To Take A Vacation From Work

Fierce Ideas (purple lightbulb)

Congratulations. You are gainfully employed. The primary focus of your organization is growth, and you have some knee-buckling goals to deliver. If you fail, darkness will cover the earth, the stock value will plummet and chaos will reign. Meanwhile, a talented colleague is vying for your job.

And you could sure use a vacation!

Hence, a few suggestions:

    1. Take one. Dammit! When your body and brain are running on fumes, you can’t do your best work.
    1. Check the dates with your boss and then put them on your calendar for all to see. Don’t cancel or reschedule your vacation just because others’ priorities end up competing with yours. What you want and need is as important as what others want and need.
    1. Save up for your vacation. Every time you’re tempted to buy something, think about the adventure you could have instead. It is possible to admire things without needing to own them. Value making memories over acquiring possessions. Let experiences be more important than things. A new car or a pair of Manolo Blahnik’s won’t change your life. Time spent in the Masai Mara will.
    1. Get out of the usual vacation rut. If you always go to Hawaii, go to Iceland. Exchange run-of-the-mill escapades on mediocre beaches, cruise ships or hotels for something rare. Leave your golf clubs at home. Take cooking lessons. Walk in the Swiss Alps. Stay in a tree house, a lighthouse, a cozy mountain lodge, a rolling hut in Washington’s Methow Valley. A change of scene will expand your thinking, expand the possibilities for your life and your career. New vistas will help reprioritize your life, shift your perspective about what this precious thing called – your life – wants and needs to be about.
    1. Travel light. Don’t fill your suitcase with all the clothes you might need in case… Don’t fill it with touristy trinkets.  Unless you are an avid collector, you don’t need a snow dome with the Eiffel Tower or a Keep Calm and Carry On coffee mug. Look for one thing to bring home, that one piece that will give you pleasure and bring back memories every time you look at it, like the mortar and pestle you find in the I’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue Sunday market. It may weigh a ton, but it will be worth lugging it home.


Read the rest of the article in my Huffington Post column.

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