How to Enjoy a Vacation

Summer is coming. For creatives who have the good sense to take vacations, this can present a paradox. How do we relax and let go of the work, while retaining our daily creative practices?

There are several schools of thought on this:

  1. It's a vacation. Don't do anything.
  2. Continue your creative practices no matter where you are. After all, if this is what compels you, why do you need a vacation from it?
  3. Do as little or as much as you feel like.

If you're a parent, none of these is probably your reality. You're going to do whatever it takes to make your kids happy (or at least quiet). However, the time may come when you enjoy some real time off too (let's just imagine it). I'm solidly in the #3 camp.

The key to a successful vacation day for me seems to be to keep what you want to do every day down to one thing of no great importance. Nothing needs to be done, but getting one thing out of the way in a different environment feels really good. That sense of accomplishment can carry you through a day, giving you enough excuse to truly slack off.

I try to fill my calendar up when I can, so that I'm determining as much of my day as possible. I try to block others from making me do things. That never works, but the day it does, it'll be worth it.

Realize that trying too hard to enjoy yourself is work. We all want to squeeze as much "fun" into our days off as possible. This is not possible, because all that managing is not fun.

See some movies, read some books, and visit more places. This is what stirs ideas all on its own. No work required.