The state of vacations in America is really sad. People just aren't taking them. The US Travel Association reported that more than half of American workers (55%) left vacation time unused in 2015 and forfeited a total of 222 million days! That's a lot of days people just decided to spend in the office instead of out doing cool stuff!
The work pace is hard in this day and age. Expectations are high and don't look to be decreasing. 80 percent of employees said they would likely take more time off if they felt fully supported and encouraged by their boss. I think back to the dad on Wonder Years who unhappily slaved away at his job for years. Coming home beaten down and complaining how much work sucks. I remember when I was a kid I felt really sorry for that guy!
Years later I understand how hard if can be to travel. There's never a good time to go. Trips cost money. There's always "later". You can twist things around in your head to the point where you'd never go on a trip. That attitude has to change. It's time to free yourself and go on a trip!
Where to Go
The answer to this is simple. Anywhere. Just go. Doesn't have to be Bali. Doesn't have to be London. It can be a town an hour away. Just go and do something. Start there.
I live in Cincinnati and one weekend just decided to do a quick weekend trip up to Columbus. It's an hour and a half away and I had no idea what's going on there. It ended up being a really fun exploring some cool neighborhoods, grabbing dinner at incredible restaurants, drinking at fun bars and just enjoying. I came back feeling refreshed and now I know what's going on in Columbus.
I'm headed to Chicago this weekend to celebrate my fiancee's birthday and a new position at work. I'd love to go to the Caribbean for the week to celebrate, but right now Chicago will do. We're going to party, see great friends, see family and just get away. Here are some pics from our last trip to Chicago. We made a long weekend of it. Started things off in the Wrigley bleachers and went from there.
Don't feel like you need to go somewhere exotic to go on a trip. Just going SOMEWHERE is 80% of it.
What You Get from Traveling
You can get so much from traveling. Culture. Adventure. Relaxation. Perspective. Passion. My travels have taken me all around the world and I've gotten something from all of them. I've never regretted going on a trip. I've never looked back and wished I'd just saved that money. Although there were some Vegas trips that I could've spent A LOT less on alcohol and been better off the next day. And that's ok. That's what makes traveling an adventure. You just don't know how it's all going to turn out. You just have to go.
What I get from every trip is memories. To me those are so much more important than another new pair of shoes or a brand new car. Those are the things that you'll look back on years and years from now and smile about. I extended a business trip last year and decided to check out the neighborhood in Brooklyn my parents lived in 40+ years ago when they got out of college. Pretty fun to see that my parents were actually cool WAY back in the day.
Here are a couple shots of our chill day in Brooklyn.
Just Book It. Go Onto Kayak and Book It.
There's always so many excuses to not travel. You saw from the first data point that half of Americans have those excuses. They're easy to have. It's never easy to just leave your job and take off. The emails will pile up. The team will need you. It's not helping your savings account. Blah. Blah. Just think what will happen if you don't go on the trip. You'll miss seeing a buddy. You'll miss seeing a new city. You'll miss out on doing cool stuff. All that adds to a life that's full and worth living.
Just do it. Go to Kayak.com. Type in a city you're interested in checking out (it can be close!) and start booking. You won't regret it! You'll also avoid being miserable like Kevin Arnold's dad.