Later on today, I’ll be going on 11 days of vacation. That’s not as long as some would like, but I think it’s enough for me. You see, I have chosen to live a lifestyle that I don’t need a vacation from. Let me explain.
People might plan a vacation because:
1. They’re burned out from work either due to long hours or because they’re not doing what they like.
2. They can’t wait to get out of the sameness, the daily routine they feel slaves to.
3. They want a time of relaxation.
4. They want to see new places or go back to an existing place they like.
5. They want to dedicate that time to spend with family or friends.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to go on vacation, I personally like them very much. I just don’t see myself desperately in need of one at any given time throughout the year. Since my personal time off doesn’t roll over into the new year, I gotta use them all up, so why not? 🙂
If you’re thinking I’m a workaholic, I can assure you I’m not. I go to work, try to put in as much (billable) time as possible, but no more than 40 hours a week (I dislike overtime, and my employer knows it, too), then I get to enjoy my weekend to the fullest. And that’s the secret, if you’re wondering; nothing more.
Sometimes vacations are seen as the ultimate form of relaxation and fun, but they might not be. Ever been on a vacation trip where you need a vacation from the vacation you just had?
You might have one or more people in your immediate or extended family not getting along with each other. Maybe the kids are acting up and it starts to look a lot less like the vacation you anticipated. Someone gets hurt, or luggage gets lost, the list goes on. Then you realize there’s no place like home.
There really isn’t.
Once we began de-cluttering, or minimizing, the effects spill on to different areas of our lives; even our vacations look different now. I’m not saying we won’t ever go on a big trip or anything like that, but life is simpler now, and the 52 weekends we have a year have become our ideal in relaxation.
I used to be big into traveling, but I have recently been enjoying time at the pool, with a book, some nice tunes, and my pillows to go home to.
Simplifying our lives have brought us to a place where we have more control of our routine and our engagements during the week so we can have our weekends freed up to do what we like.
As minimalists, we don’t deprive ourselves of stuff, but we certainly do not allow our stuff to dictate our schedule. The house is fairly tidy throughout the week, so we don’t need to spend our time and energy organizing, cleaning and performing maintenance.
As you gain more space, you start to design the life you want, so now we try not to create or bring non-essentials into our lives so we can focus on the things we like to do. And it doesn’t have to be extraordinary; the small moments of the mundane make up your life, and there’s joy in living an ordinary life, newsflash! 😉
We are blessed to have the beach less than 30 minutes away from our studio apartment, and the pool here is awesome, so we are deliberate in dedicating our weekends to relaxation so we won’t ever feel desperate to get out of town to do it or something like that. We create that stress-free environment, if you will, because the journey towards a simpler, slower-paced life has led us to do just that. And life’s good.
If the weather in your city or state is cold, I couldn’t blame you for craving sunshine and a warmer climate or just a change of scenery. We do like to designate a savings fund for that period of vacationing also so no debt would be incurred, which would be the headache after leisure time is over.
One more thing that affects our perspective on vacations is that we actually have to like what we do. Yes, expect to want a vacation every week out of the year if you currently hold a job you do not like.
I’m not going to tell you to quit your job, but you will be more satisfied with work that aligns with your values. In case you have never put down on paper the things that you value and are a priority in your life, I suggest you do that as soon as possible; take a pen and paper and list 5 areas of your life that you value (not just give lip service to) and start aligning your actions around that. Being intentional is key.
A lot started to change and make sense to me after I did this; life became simpler just how I wanted and a lot more joyful. And now, thankfully, I don’t even have to take time off to experience it. 😉