Lately, I’ve been finding myself saying, “I need a vacation.” Although my summer “vacation” ended only a few short weeks ago, I wouldn’t call those hot months of June and July a vacation. In fact, my summer was the farthest thing from relaxing.
Between juggling three jobs, two demanding extracurricular activities, and living on my own, every minute of my summer was consumed with responsibilities and expectations. The closest thing I got to a beach was scrolling through my Instagram feed to see the exotic excursions of friends. My toes never touched the sand, the sea never touched my skin, and the salty air never tangled my hair.
Now, I find myself sitting on campus as a stressed out, overwhelmed college student who hasn’t had a break in months. Perhaps you feel the same way, too. Whether you’re sitting at the same desk you’ve had for years, or working day in and day out with no time off, you can relate. No matter your age, no matter your situation, we all need a break sometime. We need a chance to go off the grid and live with no responsibilities for a few days – it’s truly the best medicine.
But, why? Although I’ve been telling myself I need a vacation, why is that the cure for my stress? Fortunately, science actually backs up my desire to get away.
According to a study conducted by the U.S. Travel Association’s Project Time Off, 52% of Americans didn’t use all of their paid time off in 2017. While this percentage has decreased slightly in the past few years, the fact that over half of American workers are not utilizing their paid vacation time is mind boggling. Don’t let yourself fall into that insane percentage this year. We all deserve a little time off, and besides, that free time can actually be good for you.
Some people think that taking time off decreases productivity, but studies show the complete opposite.
Let’s turn to the Europeans for a moment. Across the Atlantic, workers are actually encouraged to take time off. Businesses close or operate on alternative hours in Norway during the month of July to allow employees time to get away.
Turns out, nine of the top ten most productive countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) measured by GDP per hour worked were European countries. The United States only ranked sixth.
You never know when a million-dollar idea could strike. And the chances of that million-dollar idea coming to mind when you go through your same routine day in and day out are slim.
Get inspired by spending time in a new place. Immerse yourself in a different culture and explore a whole new world.
Personally, I do some of my best work when I’m in a different location – not even in terms of vacations, but even when I’m pondering my next article topic. Sometimes I need to park myself at a different desk in a different building on campus to brainstorm my latest endeavour.
There is never going to be a good time to leave work. Between your projects, meetings, and assignments, waiting for a non-busy week is like waiting for forever. Take the break you need, when you need!
Wondering where your next adventure should be? Ask a Pup for some travel recommendations!
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Whether you are an avid TWE reader or first time downloader, a member of the iGeneration or on the brink of retirement, my hope is that through this eBook you can discover what matters most to you in life and and time to appreciate it all.