Vacation: Don’t Fake It

October 3, 2017
Aartrijk - Vacation - Don't fake it

By Peter van Aartrijk

What has two thumbs and loves vacation time?

THIS guy. Me.

And now that we’re into the Season of Commerce (the first few months right after Labor Day), when the business world can feel impossibly hectic, I would like to reflect back on what I considered to be a fine summer.

But this is not about my travels and travails. It’s about you and everyone else.

There are two kinds of vacations: real and fake. When you take a real vacation, you actually don’t work. You vacate the premises, literally, figuratively, mentally, spiritually, etc.

The fake ones are where you’re pretending to be relaxing but you’re still working: calls, emails, texts, stress, worrying, etc. Your family gets highly irritated as you lie about “forgetting your sunglasses in the hotel room,” when in fact you’re sneaking onto a conference call on mute. The only thing more pointless and weird than being on a conference call on mute during a vacation is being on a conference call on mute while you’re in a public bathroom on vacation.

But a nice thing happened this past summer. Something was different. I believe more people took more real vacations. What facts can I base this on? I’m sure there are solid truths I could find on the internet — how many rental cars, hotel rooms, Air BnBs, summer cottages, flights, etc. But I’d rather go with my gut. And my gut tells me that more people took real time off. That’s because I couldn’t find anyone.

When the economy is decent, and other stars are aligned, people disappear in July and August. You literally can’t find anyone — clients, prospects, colleagues, friends, neighbors, anyone. That’s a good thing. That means vacations were real.

And if you think about it, if everyone truly commits to a real vacation, everyone actually can go on a real vacation. (If I go away, and you go away, and everyone else goes away, and we promise not to check our laptops and our cell phones, well then … they’re real vacations!)

How about you? Were you able to swing something real? Recharge the batteries? Cool. Now let’s get back to work so we can pay for next summer.

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