The Anti-Vacation Vacation We All Deserve

April 20, 2018

I am writing this coming off of a post-vacation high — six glorious days in the sun. The first part of the trip was for a dear friend’s wedding, but the second part is what I’m going to focus on. The no agenda, no expectations, no WiFi (shriek) portion. I haven’t had one of these trips in years and it was such a good reminder to take vacation that only requires you to sit on a beach and not care if your phone is fully charged.

As a project manager, I obsess over calendars, time and to-dos daily. I try my best to keep everyone in line, on time and on budget. Therefore, my vacations are typically planned hour-by-hour. Where I’m eating, who I’m seeing, calculating travel time — and don’t get me started on how many Google Docs I have for each trip. This trip was the exact opposite, and I feel woke from the aftereffects so here I am about to explain how to take the most important break that we all need.

Go somewhere where you don’t know anyone. I love visiting friends and having the most magical reunions, don’t get me wrong. But not all vacations need to feel like a job to pack in as much quality time with others. Waking up with no alarm, not having dinner reservations to make, not worrying if someone else needs to pee — it’s all so liberating!

Don’t do too much research beforehand — just figure out where the closest beach is. This helps you not build an agenda you have to adhere to. Drive around ’til you find a restaurant that has the funniest name and take a risk on their crab legs!

This was a spicy tuna hotdog. It was risky but I never felt more alive!

Put your phone on do not disturb. Full disclosure: my phone is DND 24/7, but it’s super important to do this on vacation. This little step is a way to protect your time, and when you’re ready to face reality, open your phone and respond as needed. I realize I am slightly privileged to have this as an option as I do not have kids/a family but even if you can do it for half a day, it’s worth it!

Don’t look at the clock. Wake up when you naturally wake up, eat when you’re hungry, go to bed when you want to. This lifestyle resulting in me going to bed at 8:30 every night, but that’s fine, ’cause that’s when my body had enough of the day. Vacation does not always need to be about making the most of your time — look at it as a way to reset yourself.

Bring a hotel candle and a few crystals if you’re into that. Hotels can smell funky and/or not like home. Have yourself a little ritual, make yourself a meditation altar, and you’ll likely freak out the cleaning staff — but that’s fine.

A boat crystal!

As the trip nears the end, don’t fret about heading home and back to real life — focus on how thankful you are for that experience and give gratitude! Know that if you continue to work hard you can start planning your next getaway soon enough.

I typically come back from vacations with heavy post-vacay blues. I find it challenging to get back in the swing of things and hearing the sound of my alarm. However, this time, even though I landed back in Minneapolis at midnight, I was in the office at 8:30 in the morning the next day eager to see my coworkers and hear all the updates on my projects. I truly feel refreshed and eager to get back to reality today. Bringing that energy back home and back to the office feels great and I hope we can all reset for a few days a year by taking an anti-vacation vacation!

Until next time!