In the United States we don’t fully appreciate what it means to get away and relax! For me, this means getting out of the country because I can disconnect from the internet, phone and news programming. No temptation to check in or log in because I know my capable assistant, Joyce, has everything under control. She has a further support network if it was ever needed.
Not hearing CNN or MSNBC put various spins on to news was refreshing! Not automatically checking email on my smart devices was frustrating at first, but totally empowering.
I recently returned from what my friends and I called “The Birthday Cruise”. Five of us went on the Oasis of the Seas for a week celebrating old and new friendships and four birthdays. As coordinator of the trip I’d wanted to sail on the world’s largest cruise ship. Cruising is one of my favorite vacation forms. Three of us were from the US, one from England and another from Ireland. The Oasis met expectations; a huge ship that made other large ones look like tug boats when parked next to us in port.
Though huge, she didn’t feel overwhelming. The Central Park area, open to the sky, with 12,000 plants allowed one to meander by shops and eateries. It even had piped in cricket sounds at night! The enclosed promenade had other attractions: a bar that went up and down between decks, shops, bars, entertainment venues and restaurants. Broadway entertainment, ice shows, Olympic divers and swimmers, comedy and more kept us entertained.
In the USA most of us only get 2-3 weeks’ vacation. In Europe they get 6-8 weeks or more plus all of the various holidays. We met many people from South America where they, too, get a lot of vacation time. Believe me, they see vacation differently! A week away on a cruise was a drop in their respective vacation budgets. For many of the Americans on board, it was half their total vacation time. What a contrast.
Research has been done on the many benefits of getting away and chilling out. I know I return from my vacations mentally refreshed and physically rested with great memories to draw on as I return to running a business and taking care of my clients. In ‘The Charge’ by Brendon Burchard he works with people who are looking to reinvigorate their lives both personally and professionally. One idea espoused is to take a mini-vacation every 3-4 months. Tack a Friday and Monday onto a weekend and get out of town. If you are someone with only two weeks’ vacation this can give you mini-breaks that have been shown to be beneficial to mental health and physical performance.
These mini-breaks are something I’m going to implement for the remainder of the year. There are museums to see, parks to explore, entertainment to take in, all within a 4 hour drive window. Rather than saying I want to see the museums in Raleigh, I’m just going to do it!
How do you vacation? What are your favorite ways to chill out and relax? Share your thoughts.
Being fully engaged is a smart Financial Strategy for Life.