On Saturday, I returned from my first holiday in 4 years! It was a pleasant break from the everyday routine of working from home, as I visited with friends and relatives in the warmer climes of Natal. I seem to have also been lucky to have missed a pretty wet and cold week at home! So it was with excitement that I read a Blue Zones newsletter today, which referred to the fact that science is finding we do not take enough holidays and taking a holiday can help you live longer. A forty-year study showed those who took three weeks of vacation had a 37% chance of living longer than those who took less. (52% of US employees accumulated 600 million unused days of leave last year!)
Why would I be mentioning taking holidays in a newsletter that pertains to retirement? It is relevant because so many of us are ‘working’ in retirement. And, I realise, I was stuck in the belief that I didn’t have the money to take a holiday and after all, I don’t work a 40 hour week, so why should I take time off for a holiday.
The saying goes that a change is as good as new. Well, being plucked out of my daily routine of checking emails, blogging, coaching etc and being dropped into the schedules of my friends and relatives, was quite hectic for one who lives alone and works from home. I resisted at first, clinging to the daily download of emails, but in the 2nd week there was no wireless reception in my bedroom, so I was restricted to brief visits to Outlook to stem the tide of incoming emails and dealing with only the most urgent communications. When I finally let go it was wonderful and it felt like I was away for far longer than 10 days!!
You may be saying you cannot afford to take off to another destination on your retirement budget. Travel is often not cheap, but have you considered a ‘staycation’, that is staying at home and exploring your own city? The essential element is to cut yourself off from work, which is not so easy if you stay at home. I find that because the computer is the focus of my work it is all too easy to look in daily when at home, but that is NOT a real break. That is why I felt the need to getaway! Over the past 4 years, I have had a weekend cottage where I managed to get away, but I ALWAYS took work with me. I believed I was benefitting from the change in venue, but that is not the same.
So, where are you going to get your next break? Will you have a ‘staycation’ or are you going to take a trip. A road trip? A train trip? Or flying somewhere exotic? Visiting the grandchildren, or visiting friends and relatives who you haven’t seen in years, as I did?
For my South African readers, please visit the August edition of Fair Lady magazine where you can read the article on starting a business in retirement called “Stay in the Game”, where I feature. Some of the other micro-businesses might give you inspiration!