For the first time, the Viking and I took an extended vacation. We were out of the country for approximately twenty-eight days!!! That’s right, 28 fricking days. Of course, being the workaholic that I am, I planned to work consistently during our time abroad.
Now, bear in mind, most of my travel over the last couple of decades has been for business, and I found it easy to write or work on planes, in airports, and late at night in hotels after work was done. I blithely assumed this pattern would hold while we journeyed through new and fascinating countries and cultures. Wrong!
In June and July of this year, we explored Norway, Sweden, Finland, St. Petersburg (Russia), Tallinn (Estonia), Riga (Latvia), and Denmark. We utilized every form of transportation; rail, car, bus, boat, ferries, planes, and subways. Not a single moment of travel proved boring. I pulled out my laptop on our first train ride and ignored it completely. This was while we were doing a Norway in a Nutshell trip, which encompassed every transportation method listed above, save subways. We went from 80 degree weather to snow-capped tundra in less than 2 hours. From the tundra to breath-taking fjords in less than 40 minutes. I refused to miss a nanosecond of that trip. And this proved the rule for the rest of our time away.
My brain’s still reeling from all of our experiences. Fjords, port cities, ancient Viking sites, museums, intact Medieval towns, palaces of the Czars, Elton John in concert at Tivoli Gardens…the list is endless. An absolute dream vacation.
At first, I tried to keep up with email, writing, and the EDJ (Evil Day Job, which I happen to enjoy). But our internet access was more sluggish than a sloth and, in most places, horrendously expensive. Then, I tried to find free, fast net access in cafes and coffee houses, but was too distracted by the people and the sights to concentrate for long. By the fourth day, I abandoned even pretending to keep up with email or social media.
Do you know what 28 days of stacked, unread email looks like? Or how many tweets and posts behind I was when we returned? And that’s only for the writing gig. The EDJ pileup almost sent me into cardiac arrest. Of course, I plowed into everything and worked double and triple time in an attempt to catch-up. That resulted in me coming down with an awful case of bronchitis, which took me a week to get over. So, it’s almost a month since we returned and I’m still nowhere near current with anything.
Therefore, I ask you—are long vacations worth it?