I’ve often found that returning to work after a long and restful vacation is one of the most depressing feelings on earth. I know you’re supposed to feel refreshed and relaxed after vacation, but for me, going back to work is what I dread most about vacation. It’s not like I’m thinking about work during my vacations, but when I’m back at work I can’t help but remember how much fun I was having the week before.
Recently, I’ve taken a hiatus from my day job so that my fiancee could start med school in another city. And although I still work about four hours a day, every day is almost like a vacation for me. I’m not living it up per se like I do when I’m on vacation but it’s more of a vacation from work. After I’m done with my morning routine, I’m free to go to the beach(it’s been hot as hell lately), read in the park or by the pool, exercise or play golf. That sounds like the perfect vacation to me and in fact it’s pretty much what I did on my last vacation.
My Family Vacation to Cabo
A few weeks into my day job hiatus, my family and I went on a trip to Cabo. My brother, mom and step dad all work 40 hrs a week(or more) so it was a nice break for them. Even though I’d already been there a few years ago, I was ready to take in all the city had to offer. For me, this vacation was all about doing exciting things, eating like a king and maybe a little exercise and work here and there. But after the first couple days, all we’d pretty much done was lounge by the pool and go out to dinner. I was getting bored because that’s pretty much what I had been doing every day for the past three weeks.
Right now I have a pretty solid routine at home that involves working in the morning and having the freedom to do whatever I want in the afternoon. A lot of the things I do on my free time are vacation-like activities: snorkeling, bike riding, going to lunch with friends, etc. so my first couple days in Cabo weren’t anything out of the ordinary for me. I was still able to get a couple hours of work done every morning and in the afternoons after I woke up from my siesta but it didn’t quite feel like a vacation yet.
A Break From the Grind of a Day Job
It took me a couple days in Cabo to realize it, but for most people, lounging by the pool for 5-6 hours a day, getting served with lunch and drinking 2 for 1 cocktails during happy hour is the exact definition of a perfect vacation. Since most of our day jobs are such a grind, sometimes it’s nice to just go on vacation and not do anything and not have to worry about what’s going on at work.
If I hadn’t been doing pretty much that the three weeks leading up to our vacation I probably would have loved every moment of lounging by the pool. So I guess that’s one drawback of the four hour work day: relaxing vacations can be less exciting. But that doesn’t mean you still can’t have an awesome vacation if you only work four hours a day. We ended up playing golf one day, which was a lot of fun and I actually went on a beginner’s scuba dive that was absolutely amazing. When you work less, the types of vacations that you take will start to evolve.
My Ideal Vacation on the Four Hour Work Day
Since one of the best things about my online businesses is that I can work from anywhere with an internet connection, I really don’t mind doing a couple hours of work while I’m on vacation. I might want a break from all of my freelance writing gigs, but blogging here and on my other site is hardly a job, I love doing it. Other than that though, I would like to travel somewhere with a lot of free activities. Whether it’s hiking, snorkeling or exploring the city, I’ve found that I can have a lot of fun doing free activities in places like Hawaii, or national parks in the US.
I’ll be the first to admit, my online businesses are not very stressful. I’ve saved up a lot of money from my day job, and even though I’m making enough to get by from all of my online endeavors I don’t need the money. Right now, I’m really enjoying the four hour work day because I get the freedom to spend the majority of my day however I want. I don’t think it’s such a bad thing that a vacation to Cabo isn’t as exciting as it once was. It’s going to force me to really think outside of the box for my next vacation. My goal is to find somewhere that’s affordable(since I don’t make as much money anymore) and filled with lots of unique activities that I wouldn’t normally be able to do.
Readers, have you ever taken a vacation when you weren’t working 40 hours a week? Where do you think my next vacation should be now that I’m only working 4 hours a day?
-Harry at the Four Hour Work Day