Everyone Needs a Vacation


When was the last time you took a real vacation? Not a “workcation” where you check your email and do a little work here and there. I am talking about a real vacation where you completely unplug for a week or two — taking time that you are not only mandated to, but have also earned.

For many of us, we don’t take real vacations. We might take a few days here and there, weekend trips with the family, but rarely do we take those full two weeks and completely let go of work. I have only been in the workforce for a few years, but I have yet to take a vacation … until now.

It all started when my co-worker and I were comparing our bucket lists. Hiking Machu Picchu was at the top of both of our lists. So we decided to make it happen. In November 2016 we bought our plane tickets, and now in May 2017 the time has arrived. This month, we will be leaving for two weeks to hike around Peru.

While I know this trip will be the adventure of a lifetime, it does not come without its stresses. This is the first time I will be away from work for two weeks without any access. We will be hiking in the mountains; I will have no choice. There will be no phones, no Wi-Fi, no email … nothing.

When preparing to go on a real vacation two things are very important:
  • Preparation — As I said, we bought our tickets in November 2016, so we had over six months to prepare for this trip. I could work on stories in advance, make sure I had everything scheduled and try to get as far ahead as I could, so that when I come back I don’t have a pile of work on my desk. The last thing you want is to return from vacation only to have to work long hours to catch up on everything. Then you will only need another vacation!
  • Trust — Hopefully you have an amazing team of co-workers who can hold down the fort while you are gone. You need to delegate. Have your emails forwarded to someone, therefore if something important comes in, it will get dealt with rather than sitting in your inbox for two weeks. If you need things to get done while you are gone, write out a detailed schedule so everyone knows what needs to happen, when. Again this will avoid things coming to a standstill and alleviate stress when you get home.

While taking a real vacation can be stressful, it is essential to take time to unwind. Of course this is new to me, but I will fill you in on how it goes! See you on the other side of the mountain!

Emily Harbourne was a previous editor for Campus Rec Magazine.

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