The ideal vacation is more than just a rest, it’s an opportunity to continue growing. I want my holidays to complement the rest of my life and fill in the gaps that I’m missing in my day-to-day. Whether it’s an outdoors adventure, a chance to recharge and reflect, romantic get-away with the wife, or exposing my kids to some new culture, the point is that it be different and purposeful. It should bring something new and valuable into my life.
There are many benefits to a stimulating and challenging vacation. Navigating a new city in an unfamiliar culture, pushing myself physically with hiking or biking, etc. are gasoline on the fire of personal growth, whether it’s physical, mental, or emotional. At some point, I want to get that feeling that I’m in over my head, so I can remind myself that no matter what, I can handle it. There’s nothing like feeling a kernel of panic, then breaking through into the sunshine to build character and confidence.
Even when I want a relaxing vacation, there’s still room for growth. On a beach vacation, I could spend the whole time reading a fun detective novel, snoozing, and eating, but that’s not going to help me expand my life. Sitting quietly by the sea with no book, phone, ipad — no media distractions at all . . . that’s different. In our media saturated world, being alone with our thoughts for hours and days at a time is a distinct and valuable challenge.
How often do you spend time just quietly reflecting? There’s always something to be done. I try to get some disconnected time each day, but it’s not enough. And it’s during those quiet times that I often have my best ideas, totally by accident. While thinking about something else, I’ll see the missing connection in a deal, a new goal for myself, or have a meaningful insight into my marriage. The ideas I get when I really get away from it all are the ones that keep me sharp.
I’m incredibly lucky that I found work which I love and even still, I need time away. My routine at home is great for being efficient and productive, but doing the same things over and over again can put me into a rut. A quality vacation offers the chance to mix things up and stretch my capabilities. It’s only when we’re uncomfortable that we truly grow, and if we’re not growing, we’re not really living.
Where are you planning your next vacation? Is it helping you grow as a person?
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