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September 05, 2007


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In almost 30 years of full-time work, I have never taken a vacation, I can't afford one.

So I work until I drop. My health has already collapsed once. Just one more way in shich being poor is expensive.

While my partner and I enjoy those wonderful long weekends (mini-vacations), we take a vacation of 7 to 10 days (that includes some weekend time) every year.

We always go outside of the USA and make it clear on our work voicemails and emails: "I am currently out of the office (and out of the country) I will not have access to email or voicemail. Please contact.....should you need assistance."

Nobody is that important that the work can not wait. My theory is that you have to manage the expectations of those with whom you work; those you supervise and those who supervise you. Do I come back to face some extra work - sure, but so what! I also come back refreshed and with a great outlook - my life is more than work!


I take a few long weekends (a 4 day this Labor Day included) along with a full week every year. It does take a day to catch up after the week off, but it is worth it to get away and recharge. Of course, this year my "week off" was having a baby, so I guess not really a "vacation", but it was still work-free.

It is really important to have a break from your work whether it will be a long break or a short one.

For me the very reason why we should take a break is to release all the stress and tensions that we acquire from our full-time job. Relaxing can help us to be productive in our job. Life is not all about work, work, work. We need to relax and recharge sometimes.

I fully agree with JJ -

There is nobody that important that they can't take that time off to spend with their family/friends/dog whatever. This year I took a two week vacation to Europe. Last year it was a 9 day cruise. The year before it was a 12 day cruise. I also take short weekends too, but it's nothing compared to the time off I have on a long vacation. It doesn't just relax you, it shows you a new way of life.... and thus makes you contemplate your own. Before my last trip, weekends were for running errands, getting the car cleaned, and going to the grocery store. Last weekend I spent it camping on top of a mountain, the weekend before in San Diego. This weekend in San Fran. Life is valuable, don't miss it. Your CEO certainly doesn't.

I tend to take shorter ones, mostly because I travel to most of my marathons and run a few each year so it is easier to just take the days off surrounding the race. My wife is in law school, which means we are on one income, so we don't really have the money to spend by going somewhere for a full week anyway.

Once she graduates, we will probably take a 1 or 2 week vacation somewhere. It will either be between graduation and when she starts studying for the bar exam, or it will be between passing the bar and starting a job.

My wife and I take one biggie (about 10 days) a year, usually wherever a professional conference is held for one of us. This year it's Seattle, we're actually leaving tomorrow. We take a few smaller ones (one or two days) throughout the year. While in Grad school we usually settled for the shorter variety. Honestly, we love to travel and forsake many things to do so. We don't have cable, cellphones or a big house and we drive old used (paid-for cars). Instead we love to travel abroad and domestic.

I take both. I'm fortunate enough to get 5 weeks of vacation time a year. I usually split that into a two week stint, a one week stint at Xmas, and several long weekends.

I only get 10 days of vacation a year, but I try to take a full week off once a year. The remaining vacation days allow some padding around Christmas and Thanksgiving.

The past 3 years I've been taking mostly long weekends and extra days around the holidays.
This year I went on my honeymoon for 1 week (took several more days up to the wedding).
It felt great to get away and go to Santa Fe, NM for a whole week!
It was much more memorable than taking one or two days here and there!

Plonkee, I am envious. 5 weeks vacations sounds wonderful.

Anyway, I just took a month-long vacation (combined with unpaid leave) to go to Asia. That experience allows me to rethink the direction I want to go in terms of career and personal life. I guess being busy all the time distracts me from thinking about what I really want. The urgent pushes the important out of the door without me realizing it. So I vote for a long vacation once in a while, to refresh and re-focus.

JJ's got it right. A long weekend isn't enough to unwind, let alone relax, do some chores, take care of extended family responsibilities properly, etc. The three owners of the company I work for take two week vacations and have a strict no email/voicemail/blackberry checking policy when they're gone. If these guys, whose names are on the door and whose "baby" the firm is, can walk away for a couple of weeks so can I and everyone else there.

Timely topic! I just wrote about vacations on my site today! I haven't had any time off since New Year, except for federal holidays. My wife and I have a 2 week trip planned this month. It is well overdue!

I work as an ex-pat, usually long 15 hour days plus weekends, a bit like the always on mode described here.

This year I took with my wife

1 week vacation to Japan - April
10 day trip to Hawaii - June
1 week off with family visiting me in SE asia in July (worked a bit part time)
2 week trip to go to Africa in September
2 weeks off in December

I figure with all the extra time worked it all evens out.

-Big Cheese

I don't take vacations.
I am a network administrator at a public utility and am on call 24/7. If I did take a vacation I would get calls asking for assistance and it is more frustrating trying to fix things remotely so I just don't bother. Once I hit the point where I no longer accrue vacation days, I take a day or two off "officially" but I am still working from home through a VPN connection.
The one upside to this is that I can sell back all that time when I retire.

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