Well, I did it.

I took a two week vacation, fully disconnected from online civilization (besides Instagram, of course, but does that count?)

I loved every minute of it. It also wasn't what I expected.

One of the biggest misconceptions about vacationing is that you’re supposed to come back with some big, life-changing revelation or a brand new perspective on the meaning of life and work.

That's simply not true (and highly unlikely). In fact, you're more likely to come back disappointed if you didn't find what you think you're supposed to find.

These last two weeks taught me that vacations are best used to discover something about yourself personally. For example, things in life that you might take for granted such as your health, friends, family, or a good cup of coffee.

Another thing is that a lot of people I’ve talked to in the SaaS/tech industry use vacation as a way to relieve burnout.

Work 10-12 hours a day for six months and then take a vacation. Repeat.

The problem with this approach is that it’s only a temporary solution.

If the symptoms of burnout remain when you return or if you’re not enjoying your work like you once did, these issues are going to require more than a vacation to solve.

At that point it's important to begin to look at the systems themselves - what makes you happy, your habits, your frame of mind. Vacationing ought to be a means of self-discovery and relaxation, not as a way to escape.

Until next Friday, Thinkers.

- Brian

P.S. If you'd like to see my full (candid) reflection on what I learned from two weeks of vacation and why it won't solve your problems at work, it's up on my blog here and Medium here.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in you sail. Explore. Dream. Discover.

— Mark Twain
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