I think a lot about the importance of taking time off, and that initial six months after moving to Orlando without time off really wore on me. But now that I'm really thinking about it, Diana and I haven't taken a "real" vacation since our honeymoon to Hawaii. Seriously, we've taken a bunch of weekend cruises and trips to amusement parks up north, but that's not a week-long, hardcore vacation. We spent almost a week in Seattle after moving back to Cleveland, but that's more of a homecoming than a vacation. It's true... our last real vacation was Hawaii in 2009.
Now that I put it in that context, I guess it's no surprise that late last year we decided it was time to do it right, and take an extended trip. That trip is going to be a cruise, actually, but it's going to Alaska this summer. You can't really see glaciers splintering off into the ocean from land, and we do love cruising, so it was a natural fit. Most importantly, it was something we could do as a family. Then we had the late-breaking bonus that our Seattle family will be joining us, so that's super awesome.
There are a lot of big vacations that we've talked about. That I've sadly not been to Europe is a focus, though we can't figure out if that's something we can do without Simon or not. We definitely would like to return to Hawaii, since the weather was suboptimal on our last trip. My mental block for a long time has been about budgeting the time off. As I approached the end of last year realizing that I needed to take the last week off to avoid losing time (time off spent doing very little), I was ready to commit to something serious. Alaska was the something.
Starting in June, I'll start to accrue even more time (four weeks), so it's important that I look at vacation as essential, and plan for it. Long weekends aren't vacations, they're distractions. Sometimes you need to get out into the world for longer periods of time.