I’m back from a very long trip…the longest trip I’ve ever taken.
I realize some of you will snicker when I reveal my vacation was only 3.5 weeks, but for someone who is used to taking 2-3 day trips, this was a total change of pace.
My introduction to Etihad Airways, with four premium segments including the A380 and 777 in first class, was great. I also flew United, British Airways, SpiceJet, Indigo, and SriLankan Airlines. I’ve been in Germany, India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives, with the longest stretch being nearly two weeks in India. Destinations included Hyderabad, Goa, Chennai, Colombo, and the Park Hyatt’s own Maldivian island (if you’re sensing a Park Hyatt trend, you’d be correct).
I had one goal in mind — to relax and recharge for 2016. It didn’t happen.
Award Expert is no longer a hobby, but a full-time venture and thriving company. I don’t do it alone, but like any business owner I cannot just delegate everything and check out. Each day there were issues that required my attention and some nights I found myself sitting in the living room of my suite or in the hotel lobby when I did not get upgraded trying to address them.
I thought that by the time I reached the Maldives, the last five nights of my trip, it would be a time my wife and I could relax and I really could keep my laptop and cell phone off. Nope. Same stress levels. I didn’t get past the first chapter of the books I brought along nor did I make any dents on my long-delayed trip reports.
It is a phase…at least that is what I tell myself…like China’s “Great Leap Forward” an attempt to set up success in the years to come (not that I condone Maoist policies). The flight home from Abu Dhabi to LA was over 16 hours and I finally decided to unplug. No internet, no laptop…just good food, plenty of sleep, and a couple decent movies. That’s pretty pathetic.
I’m back in LA and tired…this was not a restful trip. Part of the problem, it seems to me, is that the trip was just too long. Had it been a shorter trip, say five days, I could have better planned for it and actually relaxed. Instead, it was too long to take a break. It’s tough to go halfway around the world and only stay a few days, but next time the trip will be shorter.
What is your ideal trip length?
The longest vacation I’ve ever taken was 19 days, a solo road trip from my single days that I’ll have to write about someday. My ideal trip length is 10-14 days. That’s long enough for me to relax and recharge, while also keeping the bill somewhat under control. Frankly, I start getting bored after about 2 weeks, anyway.
@MEANMEOSH: Do you stay in one place for the 10-14 days?
I’ve taken a few multi-week vacations, but those were always multiple stops. On our trip to the Park Hyatt Maldives, we stayed 7 nights. I was worried about it being too long, but given what an effort is required to get there, I didn’t mind too much, and I was able to unplug pretty well for most of that trip. I also got a great deal on the points redemption, which is unfortunately no longer available.
Typically we spend no more the 3-4 days in one place. More than that, and I start to get antsy, or too nervous about how much it costs…
Gary sums it up perfectly “People actually enjoy trips more when they’re interrupted by real time, as counter-intuitive as it seems. Many short trips mean work punctuates your travels. For longer trips consider staying connected a little bit (with defined times) each day.”
I’ve found that to be true myself. We can’t really ever unplug, but instead of working 8 hours a day, its ok to check in for 2 hours. The fact that you are doing it from the Park Hyatt makes it much more sweet.
@Matthew – usually not, unless you count a cruise as “one place”. We usually jump around every few days, whether the trip is by road or air. Even with that, 2 weeks is about the most I can take before wanting to be in my own bed again.
Here’s why it’s hard for young men to get a long break and still have a career.
Matthew, not long ago I recall you graduating law school, and now you’re back doing what got you there in the first place instead. My career took the same path. I hope it’s because you’ve decided you enjoy what you’re doing now more than the alternative, cost of education be damned, but I’m leaving this comment at 9PM EST on a Friday and I guarantee you that you’re better off than the guy still stuck in the office doing doc review!
Travel is my hobby, and my profession is something different. In your case, travel was your hobby and is now your profession. My only unsolicited advice is that you find a hobby and diversion that isn’t related to travel, make the time to do it every once in a while, and you’ll feel more recharged in a few hours than you did in 3 weeks of travel. It’s hard when we begin to blur the lines between our work and our hobbies, and it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy our work, it just means that our escapes will be different.
Would probably miss the EU festival scene after about 18 months but anything less and you’re only seeing the bare superficiality of a country.