I cannot remember when I took my last proper vacation. Maybe 10 years. I do take a few days off every now and then, but on most occasions the trips are linked with some business angle. I have seen a lot of the world though. I keep thinking I will take a few days off – go to a place with no Internet, no cellphones and with a mountain on one side, and an ocean on the other side. Just sit there and contemplate the world.
I think and then I stop! No way. I cannot imagine being away from the present world and not reading email and weblogs for more than a couple days. There is so much happening, so many conversations to follow, so many things to do. It is like we are in race – against time, ourselves, whatever. The mind is always working on new ideas – faster than we can implement. In this context, vacations are a distraction.
I find my most relaxing times when I am travelling in-flight. The one concession I have made is that when I travel internationally, I fly business class. I will take plenty of reading material with me for the flight and the airport lounge. The additional investment is well worth the returns – some of my best thinking happens in the aircraft. Long stretches of time with no interruptions. A sense of timelessness from which one cannot escape. I do not waste time sleeping in flights. That is the time to consolidate all thoughts. On earth, life has now become a string of micromoments. In-flight, life becomes a continuum.
Now I realise it. The flights are my vacations. Only that the mountains and the oceans are below, rather than on either side. And I get the clouds thrown in for free!