As you know, I just returned from a wonderful 13-day vacation. My husband and I did a road trip around Texas to make our way to a friend’s wedding in El Paso, and we went without cell reception and internet for several days at a time. What an odd sensation, to be unplugged for nearly two weeks! Anyways, back to the fact that I kind of suck at vacation: it took a few days to just quiet my own mind, and about a week and a half into the vacation, I started making up ad campaigns for all the products we were using! Sigh… I can’t even go two weeks without doing business.
I’ve come to realize that in order to truly shut off the distractions, I need about 4 days of vacation. This two-day weekend nonsense is not for relaxation, but rather for chores, errands, and other responsibilities that I put off during the week. Humans need some down time in order to function at optimal capacity, but I never schedule any down time. I tore through 3.5 books on the trip, including a murder mystery by Agatha Christie, an FBI-thriller by James Patterson, a philosophical and psychological rabbit-hole by Aldous Huxley, and great progress through a religious/philosophical challenge by C.S. Lewis. It’s amazing what my mind can contemplate when it’s not weighed down by all the clutter of daily life! You’ll notice, though, that only two of my four books were somewhat “mindless escape”. Even when I’m attempting to turn my brain into mush for a few days, I can only handle so much “blank space” before I start craving some serious mental stimulation.
Then there’s the physical stimulation… I REALLY suck at relaxation! Fortunately, my husband does to, and his inability to relax is actually worse than mine. We backpacked for the first 3 days of our trip, logging about 15 miles of hiking. We did a 14-mile, 2,000 ft. elevation gain hike, and a 6-mile “easy” hike during the last week of our trip. We meandered on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, and danced quite a bit at the wedding. In short, while most people gain 3-5 lbs. during their vacation, we actually lost a pound or two due to our level of physical activity. I think we managed to sit by the river to read for 4 hours one afternoon… and that’s as lazy as we could make ourselves!
And finally, the business of doing business on vacation. My company Blackberry went dead a few days into the trip, and I didn’t bother to charge it. This, however, did not stop me from dreaming about owning a Bed and Breakfast with my husband, starting a photography business, or working for a year at different State or National Parks. Then came the ad campaigns, complete with taglines, artwork, and social media strategies (I’ll be featuring some of my “work” on the blog over the next few weeks!).
My tagline here on the blog is, “When business is your life”, and my vacation really made this concept hit home for me. I love challenging my mind, making money, and being productive. I kind of suck at vacation in the traditional sense, but man, I feel energized, reinvigorated, and ready to take on the world after my random parade of ideas. I think that’s the real point of a vacation, so maybe I don’t suck after all 🙂