The Best Vacation Ever?

By now you know that getting out of your normal routine, taking a break from work, sleeping in—going on a vacation, in other words—is good for you. It’s good for you emotionally and physically. So when a friend of mine drew my attention to this article (“The Scientifically Proven Way to have the Best Vacation Ever”), I was all over it.

Now, I don’t know about the scientifically proven part. But there are nine really good suggestions here. Some may surprise you:

6. MANAGE WORK

Some people believe happiness comes from doing no work on vacation. I am not one of those people. The key is how much control you have of the situation. If you’re taking calls because your boss is making you, that’s going to be a source of resentment. But if you work for yourself or otherwise have autonomy in your schedule, and you want to do half an hour of work each morning before the rest of your family wakes up, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Just get it done, and then stay out of your inbox again until the next morning. I also find that vacations are great for thinking about big-picture career questions. I think about what projects would be good for me to tackle in the future, and return home with ideas to implement.

As you know, I always take work with me on vacation. Most of my publishers and authors don’t even know I’m gone, because I answer email every day. But I also have a manuscript to read and make notes on, for those in-between moments. When it’s time to go sightsee, I go without a backward glance.

There’s lots of good advice and information here. And you know I particularly like the last one: construct your story. That’s why I write the travelogues—I get to live the vacation all over again!

Poppies—taken on my most recent vacation, in front of the National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland.

Poppies—taken on my most recent vacation, in front of the National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland.

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