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Vacationing with your Workhumper
Greetings from hiatus
I choose to understand “vacation” literally, as an opportunity to remove yourself and vacate your brain of normal routines, assumptions, and environments–not to mention inner bosses and “responsibilities.” But the opposite tends to happen, especially in our age where technology makes it harder than ever to forget anything.
There’s lots of frenzied experience cramming, lots of stressing to experience what everyone else says is worth experiencing about a place. (Or worse, to be able to say you experienced it, as if you had to give a graded account when you return home)
I don’t necessarily hate this. Given the rarity of the situation, trying to cram as much experience as possible is part of the fun of travel. Like with life generally, a central question of vacation is how to balance the fun stuff with enough stillness to appreciate it.
But the expectation that travel have a profound effect on you becomes impossible to fulfill the second you’re alert to capturing and proving said effect to everyone back home (a form of what a dear friend calls “content brain”). That’s when we find ourselves straining to force whatever epiphany there’s to be had from the beautiful vista and move along quickly so the next person in line gets to have a crack at it too.
The inner workhumper means well on vacation, wanting us to “get the most” out of our experiences, as they’ve been told we must. But on vacation, our workhumper only gets what they want if they manage to go away.