5 Things I Learned While Taking a Vacation from My Business

This past May and June I decided to take an extended travel vacation. In addition to my corporate event planning, teaching and blogging, this year I also launched my event planning mentoring program. This is all while completing my masters in education! To say the past few months have been busy would be an understatement. Like many business owners who wear many hats in their business, I was in dire need of a vacation.

I therefore researched some tours, RSVP’d to a couple of weddings and got to planning my “leave of absence”. Within 4 weeks I traveled to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Jamaica. Along with some much needed rest, relaxation and socializing I learned 5 key lessons throughout my travels.

Vacation is a Necessity

Trying to manage your business, work, family and other personal commitments can be exhausting. It is crucial to take breaks to refresh and reset. We live in a society where “busy” can often be mistaken for “efficient”. We assume that if we have many things on the go then we must be accomplishing a lot. For me this could not have been further from the truth. I returned from my vacation so rejuvenated and filled with ideas, I wished I had done this sooner.

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Kuang Si Falls (Laos)

Giving Back Contributes to Your Balance

I know I am not telling you anything new here, but sometimes we just need to be reminded of the impacts of charity. While in Laos I volunteered at an English Learning Drop-in center called Big Brother Mouse. The center teaches locals English and asks for book donations to continue their mission. As a part of their programming they also host a drop-in conversation session, where English speaking tourists can stop by and speak with locals to allow them to practice conversational English. This was one of the most rewarding experiences on my trip. I enjoyed hearing the life stories of the locals as well as sharing my own experiences with them. This also forced me to think about my language from a new perspective. Words that were almost innate to me required much thought when asked to explain it to someone whose first language was not English.

This also helped me to make a decision about a business venture with which I was struggling. When I launched my mentoring program this year, it meant I had to reduce the number of volunteer mentor hours I could provide to students from my alma mater. My plan was to stop the volunteer hours all together and just focus on the paid mentoring program. I’ve since changed my decision about this. I will instead be reducing my paid client spots to allow me the time to still participate in the volunteer program.

vacation laos
Giving Alms to the monks in Laos


Happiness is Subjective

In 4 weeks I traveled through countries that were war-torn, living with the aftermath of bombings and had experienced genocide. Yet you came across people who were optimistic, filled with hope and always spoke about the future with light in their eyes. As a visitor hearing about these stories of trauma I almost could not fully comprehend why they were not angry about their past, then I realized that happiness was subjective. How you choose to handle a situation or relive your past was based on your perception and experiences. You could choose to hold on to anger or accept that which is beyond your control and work to create a life that was fulfilling to you. What an eye opener…

vacation thailand


Your Past Should Influence Your Future

Whether that is a past personal or business experience, past experiences should not be forgotten but rather be used to inform your future decisions. Something as traumatic as genocide should never be forgotten, but rather be used to facilitate the healing process. Learning from where you went wrong. This can also be applied to almost all faucets of life. Past decisions, even bad ones, provides us with an experience we never had before and an opportunity to learn about what works and what does not.

vacation cambodia
Ta Prohm Temple in Cambodia

Never Stop Learning

Continuous learning and development is crucial for future growth. One of the first things I noticed while travelling was that there were new developments and changes occurring in all the countries I visited. Change is inevitable. To keep up with change we need to always keep learning.

vacation cambodia
Watching the sunset over Ankor Wat in Cambodia

[bctt tweet=”Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching” username=”event_u”]

When was the last time you took a break from your business?

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