For three out of the past four years I’ve taken a break from the cold of the Northeast and, (with my wife), driven South (and also at other times West) to warmer climes. The trips have lasted anywhere from just under 4 to 6 weeks. Aside from the obvious benefit of not freezing my rear-end off, there’s an energy and in my view a corresponding benefit to being off my regular routine and for things being ‘different’ every day.
On this most recent trip of not quite 4 weeks, we did not stay in any one place for more than 4 days. We saw and stayed with several friends and family members and mixed in a few hotel nights as well as an Airbnb stint. One interesting aspect was that in almost every case people asked us how we were enjoying our vacation. Given that we were keeping up with all that needed to be accomplished in our ongoing professional lives, we don’t consider any of these trips to be ‘vacation’. Is the perception that we are on vacation because we are not at home? Or that the weather is warmer and nicer than it is back in the Northeast? My guess is that it’s a combination of both and that the idea that you can move around as we do near the end of our 6th decade is hard to fathom – more by our peers than by millennials btw.
Here’s another thought. I’ve been wildly productive given that I have to work at an optimal pace when the rare opportunity for a protracted period of time is presented And I actually relish those times since, after that I feel ‘caught-up’ and on top of what I need to do and am keenly focused on the important things. Ruthless efficiency can be borne out of need and circumstances.
I know that when I work at my ‘regular’ desk, I have a rhythm and pattern that I suspect is a bit stale. I suspect that tendency Is shared by many. Whether they are aware of it or not is another story. I frequently talk about ‘disrupting thyself’ as the innate human desire for familiarity and comfort is not a way to branch out to see, do, and learn new things. Taking this now almost yearly road trip while staying fully connected to my professional life is at times a little stressful since things happen when they happen and that’s not always convenient to ongoing travel. It also can at times be a bit tiring. Overall it’s exhilarating and I feel like am in some ways cheating convention. And that makes me smile and want to do this more often.