This past week, I took my first vacation in over a year and flew to Philadelphia for Budweiser's Made In America Festival. Made In America is in its 5th year, and is a 2-day collaboration between Budweiser and hip-hop legend Jay Z. In fact, each year, Jay Z personally curates the line-up of performers. This year, the headliners were the amazing Rihanna and Coldplay. Epic, right?
Like I was saying earlier, this was my first vacation in over a year. Why? Honestly, I don't know. I've saved up enough "time-off" to go away for weeks if I wanted. But, I've always had this made-up truth in my head that if I don't take vacations, people will not only think that I'm a hard worker, but they'll know that I'm a hard worker. And a lot of times, at my job, I don't have time to take vacations. Every time I think about it, I remember that: if I'm not doing the work, who's going to do it for me? And who's going to do it the way I need it done?
There's also the fact that I'm a 23 year-old, young professional living in a big city. I don't have the salary to truly enjoy vacations like most of my co-workers. This is part of the reason why I don't mind working so much – so I can change that issue as quickly as possible. I could "staycation" it up, but like I said, I'd rather just work and make sure my things are being done the way I want them done. Maybe I'm weird.
Vacations are vital, though. And I'm just now beginning to understand that. Vacations allow you a chance to get away from the office, and to recharge your batteries. If you work in a creative environment like I do, vacations allow you to become inspired again, to develop fresh ideas and fresh perspectives. They allow for a break from groupthink. And when you come back, you might have something to offer that you would've never had beforehand because you were so exhausted.
So, stop being annoyed every time Jenna & Paul take a vacation to some exotic location that you've never been to. Stop wondering whether people will care if you decide you need a break. Stop working yourself into the ground and offering yourself no reward. Because if you don't do it for yourself, no one will. Don't allow yourself to get to that point of burnout. Just do it. Take that vacation. Take that break from reality. You deserve it. Know that.
For me, music is the ultimate escape, so going to Philadelphia for Made In America Festival was a no-brainer (the line-up was insane!). There's no greater feeling in the world than being in a crowd of 80,000 people (Beyonce, Jay Z & Malia Obama being 3/80,000), belting out lyrics to your favorite songs and sharing that same "no fucks given" joy you have in your car with others just like you. Summer music festivals aren't for the faint of heart, but damn are they fun!
Speaking of music: as I was typing this, I got inspired to create a playlist for all the Wanderers out there. Check it out!