I travel a lot for business. One of the benefits of working for myself is that I get to set my own schedule. And oftentimes, I will travel one day early or leave a day late when traveling for meetings or a conference. Those extra days have added richness to my life as I get to know a city, visit a museum and basically “smell the roses” (or exhaust).
These days are not wasted – in fact many times I am more productive during those trips than I would be at home. For instance, I am very productive on planes (where I am writing this blog post at this moment) because I don’t have a phone ringing or email notifications going off. I also get up early to work, and work a little later in the evening to ensure my time spent during the day does not affect my workload.
Smelling the Roses
I meet many people who travel. Unfortunately, many just go from city to city, sometimes not even spending the night in a city. Sometimes going out early or extending a day is not possible. But everyone has vacation days. Most of the time we stress ourselves out throughout the year and then lump all vacation days together for one or two large family trips (which after a few days together can become equally stressful). Why not cash in a few days throughout the year to enjoy life today? To detox and relax today? Our happiness and productivity can increase immensely by taking occasional breaks. Enjoying our life once or twice a year isn’t enough; we should take time to enjoy it at least once per month.
Last month I gave a presentation in Philadelphia. I love Philadelphia so I chose to extend a day (see pictures below). During that extension, I visited a museum and special Pixar exhibit in which I learned how much detail and math are required to make animation appear so life like. What a new perspective! There was a Mormon Temple with an open house (meaning the public could tour the inside of it). What a beautiful edifice! And I love Independence Hall – I could not tire of learning about it…each time I come away with something different (this time it was about how much arguing there must have been and how several had to swallow their pride for the good of the document).
Looking to Retirement
Many people anxiously look forward to their retirement – a time when they can do what they want and really enjoy life. But why not start doing that today? Sure you cannot do it everyday, but how about peppering in a day here and there. Whether it is extending a day on a business trip, visiting family or taking a day at home to enjoy what your city has to offer. There is no guarantee we will make it to retirement, and what if we have a health issue that prevents us from doing what we want and can do today? Odds are we will end up regretting not taking more time out to “smell the roses” – so why not choose to do so today?