We walked on a beach at Cape Cod and collected seashells by the seashore. Sea spray covered the lens to my camera giving the photos a dream-like appearance. It was my youngest daughter’s first trip ever to the Atlantic Ocean. She swam in it with her father and her sister. She loved it even though she was stung by a jellyfish.
We spent a couple days in Boston and fell in love with the city. Boston Proud. Indeed. What an incredible place full of history, charm, patriotism and utter resilience.
Everyone we met seemed so nice and informative. Some relationships, however, didn’t last as long as others.
Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale from New Hampshire helped to ease of the pain of those particularly messy breakups.
Our vacation ended 4,000 miles, an ocean and three days ago. I wished it could have lasted longer, but some time off away from the job and life as usual is far better than none at all.
Taking time off from your job is a good thing for so many reasons.
Let me count five no-brainer ways for you now:
1. Vacations reduce your stress levels. All work and no play not only stresses you out, but it transforms you into a fairly boring, one-dimensinal kind of person. This, coupled with stress, can lead to all sorts of physical, mental and emotional negativity in life.
2. Vacation time allows you to reconnect with your family members or significant others. Face the facts. People we love won’t always be around for us in life. Take advantage of time while it’s yours for the taking. Make your kids listen to Grandpa’s war stories now. Enjoy the moments you have with those closest to you because you just never know when fate will deal you a sucky hand.
3. Going on a vacation gives you something new to experience and to fondly remember later. You become a doer rather than just a dreamer who can proudly wear the been there, done that t-shirt of life. Bucket lists, anyone?
4. Vacations give you an opportunity to recharge and refocus your braincells. When you do go back to work, you are rested and ready to do your job with a fresh set of eyes and a revitalized energy level. You are more patient and able to better deal with the people who may annoy you the most.
5. If you’re brave enough to do it, vacations can also provide you a genuine opportunity to unplug, mentally and technologically. This may be easier said than done but it is worth the effort. Don’t check your Blackberry. Don’t worry about the project you were working on before you left the office. Instead, live on the edge and in the moment. Actually talk with your spouse or your kids and not just to them. Play those stupid, dusty board games if you can stand it or simply take a walk in the woods or on the beach. Swim in the pond. Overeat well and worry about your cholesterol level later. Pick the better wine regardless of the cost. Learn something new about the past and try to connect it to your life today.
You don’t have to travel 4,000 miles to go on vacation. You just have to go someplace with an open mind and a willing heart. It helps to have a reliable GPS and a working corkscrew, too.
I hope you find sand in your shoes and I hope it makes you smile, too.