Last week was spring break for me. As a tradition, a girlfriend of mine and I take a road trip because the journey is just as important as the destination. This year, we landed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is just as much of a Type A worker as I am, so she came prepared with her laptop—and I’ll admit that I hurriedly grabbed mine and threw it into the car. Fortunately, when we arrived at the hotel that evening, I realized that I left my charger in the States. This is when I had my moment—I had to shut things down for a week in order to survive! We are all working so much, that we forget to take care of ourselves and enjoy the fruits of our labor. So, in this blog, I’m going to share some highlights from my trip and a few things that I did to shut things down and zone out.
Finish all of that homework—NOW! The Friday before spring break began, I was hurriedly getting all of my homework done so that I could just relax and enjoy myself. I read everything that needed to be read, posted everything that needed to be posted, and looked ahead for the next week to see if there was anything that I needed to get done to prepare for my return trip. It was a relief to know that I didn’t have to log in to respond to anyone or post anything. I will advise you to reach out to your professor to let him/her know that you will be out of town just in case he/she is heavily monitoring how often students log in to check work.
Set up that vacation email response. I NEVER use this response. EVER. That changed this vacation. Although many people already know that you are on vacation, everyone does not know. We also have a need to respond immediately to text messages and emails when we receive them. This time around, I set my vacation response alerting people that I would be out of the office and would be returning emails on Monday morning. Although I knew messages where coming in, I also knew that my alert was going out and individuals did not expect an immediate response.
Delete recurring events off of your calendar. If you, like me, live on your Google calendar—or an equivalent—delete those recurring events. There are certain meetings and events that I have daily or weekly, and I receive those alerts because I forget everything! In the past, I would leave the alerts on, then get random messages to my phone about a lunch duty or a meeting while I was on vacation. Although you can ignore these messages, they can also cause anxiety. When you are on vacation, you should be just that—on vacation. These reminders always take you back to something that you should be doing, which is not something you want to think about while you are relaxing.
Inform people of your plans. I found that if you simply share your availability with key players those individuals will respect your time. Simply stating, “I’ll be out of the country until Friday, so I won’t be available until Saturday,” gives people a window of contact. They may send you information, but they will understand that you are not available to respond until you return.
Enjoy yourself! I know this seems simply, but it’s not. If you are a busy bee, it tends to take a minute before you can simply just RELAXd. In order to do this, remember that you are on vacation. You don’t need a set agenda, take in the sights, and enjoy your trip. If you find yourself thinking about work, redirect yourself to your here and now, so that you don’t miss out on your rest time!
The highlight of any trip is food right? I ate A LOT of brunch--dinners were fairly hit or miss because of my food allergies though.
Random photos of myself enjoying Toronto--it's an amazing place to go!
You may recognize Rashida from her video and blog on classroom decorating! CHECK IT OUT if you missed it. We always try to get photos of state signs as we drive, but there really aren't too many states to get through to hit Ontario.
I hope that you find a few tips in this blog helpful! These were the things I constantly had to do in order to enjoy my road trip. If you are on vacation now—I hope you enjoy yourself and if you have an upcoming vacation—be sure to keep these tips in mind as you plan!