This summer, I took a road trip with my boyfriend. We drove all around Washington and British Columbia, and we had a wonderful time. I didn’t necessarily unplug, but I did relax. A lot. During this vacation, I got to spend my time doing the things I love: taking pictures, discovering new places, writing, reading, talking about deep topics, eating delicious food, and sleeping in.
My boyfriend and I talked about it. Could this be real life?
Then, vacation ended and we were thrown mercilessly back into the real world. We got back on a Sunday, and had to work on Monday morning.
It was a rough transition back, I won’t lie. Vacation, it turns out, is more fun than work.
So I was interested to discover that we weren’t alone. A recent study shows that 70% of people want to quit their jobs after being on vacation. I am surprised that it’s the majority, but it makes perfect sense, really.
If vacation is done “right” it gives you a huge mental break. It’s fantastic for mental health. If you’ve saved enough to afford vacation, and you’ve planned accordingly, there should be very little stress when you’re on vacation (especially if you don’t have kids).
We spent many a coffee-filled morning talking about ideal situations. What does the future look like, when you can have any future you choose? Dreaming is so fun when you’re exploring somewhere new. The possibilities are limitless. On vacation, you can do anything you want.
Then you get back home, and you do all the laundry, and you set yourself up for the week.
And when you get to work, more likely than not, you’re not living your dream. So you start looking for something new. You polish your resume, you start looking to see if you want your life to go in a different direction, you see if you can either make more money or earn more freedom (whatever it is you were dreaming about).
What the study doesn’t say, and what I wonder, is what you do after you’ve sent out a few applications and haven’t heard back. I’d guess that the more time that goes by, the more you adjust to real life. You remember all of the fun things from vacation, but you stop yearning for a more ideal life. You let the conversations you had while you were relaxing on the beach turn the memory of vacation to soft-focus perfection. You get back into the swing of things. Maybe you do keep an eye out on the job boards, but you spend more time doing the work, regardless of how “fun” it is.
Does vacation make YOU want to quit your job?