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  • Five Things You’ll Learn About Yourself on Vacation

    On Top of the Mountain photo from ShutterstockI’m writing this from 900 feet above sea level on the upcountry slopes of Haleakala on Maui.

    This week I’ve been fortunate enough to spend time on Maui visiting friends & family and also going to places I have been visiting for many years. It got me thinking about what has changed as well as what has stayed the same. I was able to boil it down to Five Things I noticed on my vacation. Going forward I might expand upon this list as the trip continues and perhaps with any comments you add below. (PS – In case you are wondering what I mean by many years… it’s more than 30.)

    It got me thinking about the upcoming holiday season for travel. Even though you might not view these trips as vacations. As the season gets going here are a few things you might notice about yourself too.

    Even if you see holiday travel as more of an obligation than a vacation you may be thinking, planning and dreaming about your mid-winter vacation. Whether it’s to a sun drenched tropical destination or light-as-air powder snow location high in the some far off alps.

    As we enter the holiday season you will inevitably start to travel to see friends and family or they might come to you. As mentioned, perhaps you won’t think of these trips as vacation and perhaps as more of an obligation. If that’s the case you may want to stop reading now. However, if you do think of your holiday travels as vacations and adventures and opportunities for personal discovery … read on.

    Below are five things I noticed about myself on my trip to Maui. For starters it was great seeing friends that I don’t get to spend time with nearly often enough. It was also fun cruising through towns I have been going to and thru for many years and seeing what’s changed. It was interesting to notice that some things have changed and some things really haven’t. While this should not be too much of a surprise it kind of was. I expected more houses, more businesses and more people. All of which were there… in some places much more than others.

    However, it was equally interesting to see how some things haven’t changed at all. I guess this is just one of those things where Vacation Destinations parallel real life. Especially those vacation destinations that you have been to over and over again.

    Finally, I also noticed that Life Imitates Art and vice-versa, specifically with music. It seems there have been a lot of songs about working for the man and about how things change when and where we least expect them too. Sometimes in ways we would have not expected. Which, much as in life, is not too surprising… or at least it shouldn’t be.

    Music Emulates Life … and vice-versa

    The Five Things

    1. “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot”
      Originally by Joni Mitchell and immortalized by Jimmy Buffet. Much to my chagrin there have been more than a few places that have been paved over — either literally or figuratively. In life and in business too we have to be able to deal with these kind of gross changes. It doesn’t mean we have to like it, but we do need to ready for these things and be able to adapt.
    2. Take it Easy
      The classic Eagles song is a great way to think about vacations. Perhaps not too literally, rather more figuratively. Yes, you should plan what you want to do, Yes you should think ahead and Yes perhaps even know a few things that you absolutely want to do. But… be ready to adapt and change and go with the flow.
    3. Work Will Always be There
      As my mobile phone dinged with another email or text I realized that it would continue to do this unless I did something. That something was taken care of a little bit by where I was staying, but was re-inforced by my actions. I put my phone in the room and turned the notification sounds off. I was there to spend time with my friends. So, I did. And so should you. Sure, I’m writing this while on vacation. But, I set this time aside to do so.
    4. Spend the Money. You Won’t Regret it
      Money is transitory. Spend it now and enjoy the moment. Whether it’s take that cruise to Molokini to snorkel or pay a few extra dollars to get on the tram to the top of the mountain first. Spend it now and make it count. See Peter Shankman’s article on using money to make for better travel experiences. Use is the operative word here. The money… not the people.

      And the last one …

    5. You should have been here yesterday
      I’m a lifelong surfer and windsurfer. If I had a nickel for every time someone said… “You should have been here yesterday” I’d be a semi-wealthy man. Well, you are here today. Make the most of it. Make your own stories. And, be ready to tell anyone that asks… You should have been here yesterday!

    Time to Get Back to It

    So, there you have it. Five things that I think apply to all of us and that I think you will learn about yourself on vacation. Take them for what they are worth and remember… Take it Easy and that Work will Always be There.

    Now, I need to get back to my vacation. I’ll let you know in follow-on posts if I come up with another list of five. Drop a comment here and let me know what you’ve learned about yourself on you vacations.

    Jeff is an expert in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2. He is currently consulting with Microsoft and partners to drive Community Engagement and Alliances. Follow him on Twitter @jshuey or on LinkedIn: in/JeffShuey

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