My husband and I were recently fortunate enough to take a trip to Greece. It was such a wonderful experience for me…A chance to take in the history and beautiful views, relax and reconnect. I thought no better topic for this month’s blog than the benefits of Vacation and Travel.
These benefits can be found in small doses in our everyday life or in larger doses when we can take a nice long take vacation.
1. Vacation Days are Meant to be Used!! In this country we are notorious for having the lowest vacation benefits, and what's worse we work so hard and don’t even use our vacation time! According to one study, in 2015 over half of Americans (55%) left at least some vacation time behind. That’s 658 million unused vacation days! These vacation days are built into your position and benefits package, it is time you earned and you should use it! Whether you save up for a week off or just take a day to yourself when you’re feeling drained.
2. Take a Break! There is much to be said about getting out of your normal routine and changing things up. You can break free from everyday stresses, disconnect from responsibilities and the feeling of always be “plugged in.” One of my favorite things about vacation and a boundary I take seriously is limited screen time. Roaming or without wifi? Even better! There is no need to be attached to the phone, I turn off e-mail and other notifications and keep social media to a minimum. You can translate this to your everyday by making sure you take a lunch break, practicing mindfulness, or turning your phone on airplane mode to enjoy a date night with your partner or movie to yourself. Just be in the moment and enjoy it!
3. Connectedness. Travel or just exploring new places allows you to connect with the world around you. When I think of trips I've been on and the places I've seen, I'm in awe of the beautiful sights and experiences that are unique to each place.
Can’t make a big trip happen? So, what about getting outside and going for a hike or visiting a local museum you’ve never been to. Create opportunities to explore, learn something new, or appreciate Mother Nature and all the beauty she has to offer.
Vacation time and traveling can also be an opportunity to connect with others whether it's reconnecting with your partner, family or friends or meeting new people.
4. Be Adventurous! On vacation in a new and exotic place? What a great time to do something different and unique to that place and culture. Maybe this is by trying new local foods or doing some fun activity that you wouldn’t normally do. On Stay-cation? No problem, challenge yourself to go outside the box by trying something new! Maybe you’ve always wanted to go rock climbing or you can take up dance lessons, you won’t know what hobbies you like until you try them.
5. Gratitude. Taking time away from the everyday allows us to be grateful and appreciate what we have. As much as it's nice to get away we tend to feel rejuvenated when it’s time to return. Maybe it's coming back to the familiarity of your routine, looking forward to sleeping in your own bed, or a furry friend waiting to greet you when you get home. I am so grateful to be able to travel but "There's No Place Like Home!"