The wind died down and I headed out onto the veranda to sit under the stars. The waves glistened under a full moon as they danced their way on shore. “This is the life“, I thought to myself as I prepared a moist Cuban cigar accompanied with a fresh glass of coconut juice I cracked open earlier that evening.
The last night of a great vacation is always the hardest. I think about how I felt the first day I arrived, and lament at how quickly time went. It’s time to go back to work soon. I recount all the cultural idiosyncrasies, such as the waiter putting me on the spot by asking how much I plan to tip before running the credit card, or the knife salesman telling me I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of his demonstration even though he wanted me to buy his products! I remember our tour guide Carlos, who makes his money off tips, tipping a street performer at a stop light with what little he had. Yes, the little things are what make international travel wonderful.
Vacations are wonderful because they are like decadent slices of chocolate cake. You don’t always have a slice, but when you do, the magical sweetness is quite a treat after a salty meal. If all you did was eat chocolate cake, your taste buds would soon tire. And so I reason that if all you did was go on vacation, you’d no longer appreciate your travels since you’re no longer vacationing from anything.
Work helps makes vacation a blast. Meanwhile, fulfilling work makes vacation even more special because on your last night of relaxation, not only do you enjoy recounting the memories, you also look forward to going home. After a couple weeks, I miss the buzz.
The more I think about it, the more I realize I don’t really want to retire. Retirement is just an excuse for not finding a job you truly enjoy doing. 6 weeks of vacation a year + the 8 national holidays are enough balance for me.
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Updated for 2017 and beyond.