Back to Work

It’s back to work after a nice long vacation. Though I don’t look forward to getting back into the work routine, I know it is a necessary evil so I can make the money to enjoy future vacations. I have not yet found a way to make money as a professional vacationer. Those who appear to travel as a vocation do it to support their real job, as a buyer, or travel writer, or some similar employment. I doubt I could combine work and travel – I’d spend all my time enjoying the trip and seeing the sights, and focus zero attention to work details. Even as a travel writer, I would not be able to scrutinize and analyze my trip to a level of detail required to write about it. Such inspection would likely ruin my taste for travel, but I doubt I could pay that much attention. I’d be too busy soaking in the experiences, enjoying the moments, forming only the impressions of memories. My travelogue would end up being three pages long, with content such as, “The weather was great,” “The beach was fantastic,” and “The food was delicious.”

The measure of how successful a vacation is for me is how much of work I forget. Certainly a vacation is ineffective if I can remember my work login password when I return to work. But to be truly good, a vacation must make me forget about projects and urgent tasks requiring my attention, especially those I needed to complete prior to traveling.

I don’t normally attend to anything work related when I’m vacationing. I don’t bring work laptops with me, I don’t read work emails, and I don’t check in with coworkers to see how projects are advancing in my absence. To me, the point of a vacation is to shut those things off for a week or two, forget about work responsibilities, and enjoy life. Others can assume some semblance of my responsibilities while I’m gone. Those things that require my attention can wait for my return. The company will keep producing widgets when I’m not there. Work schedules (which are arbitrary to begin with) will not be affected by my leave. The company will not go belly up during my absence, at least, not because of my absence. If the company does tank during my leave, the business has bigger problems than me vacationing for a few days.

With that said, I did take one work phone call from a coworker while I was traveling. The call came the third day into my trip, and I answered it by mistake. I was totally useless to my workmate, unable to give him rudimentary information regarding details of a project I worked hard on delivering just a few days prior. I had difficulty remembering what project he was talking about, much less being able to give details. I couldn’t remember names of people to refer him to to get answers. I couldn’t even remember the caller’s name.

It was a very good vacation.