This is the #1 thing Selena recommended to me when we first started traveling together. I now recommend my version of this advice to every working person I know when they go on vacation, and it is this: CHECK YOUR EMAILS WHILE YOU ARE AWAY!
Our rule of thumb is one hour a day for 75% of the vacation. I know it sounds like a lot, but in the morning or right before bed, it is so much easier to power through all your nonsense or resolved issue emails when you are detached from the office setting. The benefit of this is when you return, you are in the loop and not bogged down in weeks old work that likely has been resolved. Also if there is an ongoing emergency, you can chime in and then dip out as you please.
When you return to work, your workload will be more like you took off a half of a day as opposed to a week. The higher ups will also be very appreciative of your “dedication” for 3-5 hours of work.
Selena: I’d like to add that sometimes your supervisor may be concerned that you aren’t actually relaxing or should be getting “hours worked”. Speak through these concerns before you leave for your trip.
Meditate and Reflect
I think it’s good practice to have something to look back on. Selena and I have taken pictures everywhere we’ve gone together for two specific reasons: 1. To post on our wall (in our bedroom never Facebook) 2. Share the beauty of what we saw with everyone we know.
While we do take the occasional selfie, most of our photos are scenery (Street Art, Mountains, Architecture, etc.), monuments, and moments. Because while your stories may be detailed and vivid, they will never compare to being there or seeing the photo/video. They also help for the moments you haven’t thought about in a while.
The other side of this is at some point during your trip, you should take the time to acknowledge what you’ve done, and where you are. Even when we go to another state, I often find myself thinking about how just a few hours away I’m in a completely different culture of my country. True we all have the same color passport but we do not all have the mountains of Washington, the flat lands of Nebraska, the highways of NJ, or the space of Texas. These are things that we all take for granted, and every so often we should absorb all that we are experiencing and allow it to settle in.
Typically every morning while away I think about all of our experiences and joke with Selena about whatever funny event happened prior. Some of these laughs we exchange grow into inside jokes or stories to share later on.
Try new things
Selena: You would think this was a given for those who want to see the world. Often people go on vacation to do the same things they would do at home. That’s boring! Of course, I understand there are times you just want to lay around and do nothing, but how about doing that by the beach? Drink until you puke at a bar, not in your hotel. There are many options.
Food is another thing you can try. Kamau initially was very against poutine the first time we went to Canada together. He had a fast food poutine experience and was not a fan. I said we should try it and maybe it would be different. And it sure was! Now we’re in love with great poutine, especially Kamau. He looks for poutine in the tri-state all the time. If you know of a place, please post a comment.
Trying new things really makes your adventure that much more memorable. Impactful as well. When we came home from California, as you may have seen on our twitter, we have been eating so much more whole food and plant based meals. Effortlessly too. I’m still in awe. It was because we went to three vegan restaurants that were AMAZING. Now we can’t get enough of that “real food” taste.