It’s officially Summer! School is out, the days are getting longer, and your colleagues are starting to take their vacations. But, you have soooo much work to do at the office. Who has time for a real vacation? Let’s face it, you’ll still be tempted to check your Blackberry every waking moment, driving everyone around you absolutely NUTS. I know. I’ve been guilty of doing just that. We all have.
You work hard at what you do, right? Think you deserve a little break? I do. Here are a few reasons why you should take a vacation as well as some creative suggestions on just how do get away.
Why you should take a vacation:
Recharge. Recharge your batteries. A vacation, when done right, will get you away from work. This allows you to recharge and reinvigorate yourself. You’d be surprised at what innovative ideas pop into your head when you’re not trying to think about them!
Disconnect & Reconnect. Disconnect your devices. Say it with me: “I will turn off my Blackberry. I will not check emails. I have left my department and colleagues in good condition in order to survive the short time I’m away.” I found out first-hand that disconnecting also allowed me to reconnect. Without the distraction of worrying about work and constantly checking my devices, I was able to reconnect with my wife, family, and friends, strengthening our relationships. My full attention was devoted to this. And yes, I did survive without posting updates, pictures and videos to Facebook and Twitter. People usually don’t care about your vacation – you do. I took lots of pictures, uploaded them to Shutterfly, and created a photo book with my wife so we could look back on our vacation with fond memories.
Have Fun. If you’re not having fun, is it really a vacation? Take the time to relax, let your guard down, and have fun. That’s it.
Give Back. Use the opportunity to give back. Whether it’s volunteering in your community, church, or simply offering to help a neighbor with yardwork, use your vacation to give back. You’ll get a great feeling from it and those you help will certainly appreciate your help!
Some creative ideas:
Explore Your World. If you have the chance to travel the country or world, do it. The experiences gained during my travel across the world are ones that will stay with me for my entire life. It’s a great way to learn about different cultures, history, and see things you’ve only seen in books and on the Travel Channel. Take the chance and spend the money. It’s worth it for the experience! There are even opportunities to take educational tours. I took a two-week tour of Europe that covered 8 countries with EF Tours, a company providing international travel opportunities for teachers and students, after graduation. They are highly recommended. Their website: www.eftours.com.
Explore Your Backyard. With budgets tight, many families are opting for the “stay-cation”, where they do things in their hometown or state, but not making the trek to Walley World like the Griswold family. This is a great way to find the hidden gems right under your nose. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce or travel bureau. They’ll know about the fun things happening in their city.
Go to Summer Camp. I think we can all identify with the concept of summer camp. As a kid, we went to sports camp, band camp, Boy Scout/Girl Scout camp, computer camp, camp, camp, CAMP! The more activities we had to keep us busy in the summer, the happier our parents were and more “well-rounded” we became. But, as adults, we don’t think about going to summer camp. But, it’s making a comeback! There are tons of camp programs out there for adults that include opportunities for learning the culinary arts, the art of wine tasting, fishing, hunting, skiing, even learning bull riding. Just Google it. You’ll find some interesting options. Summer camp is no longer just for kids!
Go on a Vocation Vacation. Are you in career transition? Been laid off? Want a new job? Vocation vacations are a great way to test drive your dream job. Becoming more popular in our current economic situation, vocation vacations are a way for job seekers to learn what it takes to be an actor, artist, restaurateur, even veterinarian. Check out their website: www.vocationvacations.com
Regardless of what you do, do something. It doesn’t have to be a 7-14 day period that involves cross-country travel. Take a few days here and there. Recharge. You owe it not only to yourself, but to your company. You’ll come back refreshed, happier, and quite possibly with new innovative ideas!