If you are part of the working force, whether on a part-time basis or full-time, one of your favorite things about working is possibly when you go on vacation! Whether it is for an extended weekend or two weeks, you are focused on that last day before you leave the office for that extended period of time. If you are like me, on your last day, you are so happy that you let nothing deter your mood and your “out of office” message has already been programmed and is set to activate exactly at 5pm☺!
While we all know that we need to take a vacation once in a while and step away from the daily grind of the workplace, I found myself discovering during my vacation last week what it truly means to be on vacation! We have never truly asked ourselves what the real point of a vacation is and I’m sure that if 100 people were surveyed, the answers would differ one from another. However, most people would say that the point of a vacation is to have some time to relax away from their daily activities. While the intention is always to relax, in my past experience and from my conversations with friends I learned a long time ago that we usually return from vacation tired and sometimes more tired than when we left the office. There is a reason why the saying “I need a vacation to get over my vacation” is very common from those of us who are fortunate enough to take vacations. For the first time in my adult life, I can say that I truly experienced what the goal of a vacation is! It has now been 6 days since I’ve been back to my hectic life and I still have that huge smile on my face! You see, I’ve discovered that the goal of a vacation is not to visit 100 places (although that never hurts) but rather it is to recharge, recover, and overall reset your internal odometer! I went back home to Haiti for my vacation and for 7 days I allowed myself to let go and let flow. I did not let last minute changes to the schedule affect me, I did not worry about the time, and overall no matter what I was doing, I made sure to enjoy it to the fullest! From eating my first bowl of mango upon arrival at home to overlooking the whole northern side of Haiti from atop of the Citadelle fortress, I simply enjoyed each moment equally. The goal of a vacation is for you to stop the madness around you and just take in the beauty of your surroundings, enjoy the company you’re in, and appreciate it all.
It was not my first weeklong vacation, it was not the first time I went to Haiti however, this was the first time I actually stopped and truly appreciated being away from the computer, the phone, the meetings and all of the responsibilities. I was so into the moment that I forgot to capture many great events on film because my priority was to enjoy it! So my suggestion to you is this:
- TAKE SOME TIME OFF: you need this both physically and mentally! Even if you’re not going out of town, still take the time to decompress.
- Leave the work behind: I mean it! No emails, no phone calls, NOTHING! If you work for a company – trust me they can do without you for a week no matter the amount of missed calls you see on your phone! And if you are your own boss – this is the best thing you can do for your business because you will return with a fresh attitude and ready to move mountains!
- Take it all in: whether you are sleeping in at home on a staycation or enjoying the beach off of the coast of an exotic island – take it all in! We work so hard that we have made our jobs our lives and this is the main reason why our bodies are failing us more often these days. Take it in, breathe deeper, smile more, and if you’re unafraid like me: dance even when there is no music! Dance to the feeling of satisfaction that you feel inside when you finally take it in!
I hope you will all get to experience this Zen feeling that I’ve been on for the past week, it is truly priceless because even though my vacation has ended, it has truly changed my mindset and now anytime I feel some stress coming, I reflect back to that feeling and tell myself that this stressor is not worth me losing this feeling!
P.S: The featured image in this article is of the Citadelle Laferrière in Milot, Haiti. For more information on this fortress, visit the following site: http://www.citadellelaferriere.com