Monday, February 16, 2015

Introducing the Workcation

This post is #3 in a #17 post series about workcations. The learn more about workcations and see the full eBook, check out Workcation. Have the best life now! on Amazon. It's free to borrow, if you have a Kindle device or Amazon Prime. 

Our comfortable culture of working hard, not taking vacations, and taking forced “staycations” continues to transcend into the habits of our daily lives. Today, more and more Americans are dining “al desco” and enjoying “no resco.” Our culture is engrained to go, go, go! But at what cost? We need to take time for ourselves in order to have a balanced life and be refreshed.

Frequently, it can be major setbacks in our life that cause us to question our purpose and open our eyes to what we are really pursuing and if that matters to our life goals. I’ve endured various physical injuries, including my bicycle accident and lost close family members in my life, including my brother. These moments are all very painful –both on physical and emotional levels.  Having elements of your physical health removed from you or loosing loved ones to cherish these experiences with, causes your mind to value and cherish each prior experience. It also slaps your face and electrifies the mind to value each and every day as we don’t know what is around the corner. These various life moments taught me to identify moments in our life, where we can pursue our dreams and take full advantage of the time we have.

Sometimes major setbacks and also cause a person to quit everything and have an extended time to pursue their dreams. This may involve going on a cross country drive, visiting several countries in Europe, or starting a new job. My setbacks didn’t cause me to revolutionize my life, as I more than anything just wanted my old life back.  I didn’t quit my job and start to ride my bike across the United States to bring advocacy for safe streets. However, it did open my eyes to how I spent my time and what activities I valued.

As my face was slapped with the fragility of life, I realized that I needed to take more advantage of my after work time. I realized that I could explore my natural surroundings and have “mini-vacations” or workcations during the workweek. I started to go on hikes after work, or stop on my commute home to go for a walk on the beach. It was these moments that I spent in outdoors and with nature, which awakened my senses and caused me to reflect upon my life as the world also reflected on me. I was unplugged from technology and distractions of our hyper connected society. These “workcations” became the highlight of my workweek.

As I started to explore more and more, I wanted MORE. I wanted the ability to extend these feelings of nature’s solitude for a longer period; but I didn’t want to quit my job for it all. On the side, I tried to create my own line of successful mobile applications to fuel my early retirement, but it was met with mixed results. It provided the opportunity to enjoy more lattes, but not enough to buy a new house. I quickly realized that having a stable career and income was still important to me too!

As I tried to research opportunities to see more of the outdoors, I realized that camping may provide the best opportunity to be in the outdoors for an extended period of time. The experience of sleeping in a tent could provide the ability to be surrounded by nature and away from technology devices that kept me “connected.” I wanted to detach from technology and connect more with myself, thoughts, and nature.

As I started to explore available campsites, my visions of sleeping under the stars, enjoying a hike under the moonlight, and contemplating life by a campfire quickly dissolved as I saw that the majority of local campsites were reserved for the next 6+ months. As my frustration increased due to the lack of unavailable campsites, I felt a sense of hopelessness. This sentiment caused me to rapidly click through the reservation calendar only to see occasional openings during the workweek. Could it be possible that I could go camp during the workweek? Could it be possible to camp and work? …And the first overnight workcation was born! I made a reservation for a two night stay at local beach campsite and the workcation was on! 

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