I look forward to this all year

In France we are very lucky to have 5 or 6 weeks vacation. I work hard all year and with technology, I find I am rarely disconnected from work… checking emails early in the morning or before going to bed, preparing a presentation on the weekend…. the barrier between work / home is blurred.

For most of the year, I do not mind that much. I love my job, I run a business unit, am responsible for clients and manage a big team, so staying connected is what I am paid to do.


However, for three weeks a year, I disconnect. I do not check email (though work knows how to reach me if need be), I don’t wear a watch, nor do I wear make up. These three weeks in the summer are the moment for me to rid my body of all the built up stress and tension, and I am a better person, a better boss and a better employee for taking this break. And I don’t feel guilty at all.

Week 1 I usually spend getting caught up on my rest. Seriously, I go to bed at 10 p.m., up at 7 and take one or two naps a day. Week 2 I am feeling much better physically and emotionally, and week 3 I feel I can really take advantage of my vacation. If you have never taken three weeks off, try it.


Here is what has been going on this week :

1. Very little cooking. Garbage salads are high on the agenda. Anything in the fridge, throw it onto a plate.

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2. Exercise. I always vacation where there are fitness classes or bike / walking trails and paths. I have been too tired to run everyday, but am getting some kind of exercise in. Walking, running, step class, LesMills Body Balance…

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3. Reading / sudoku. Books, magazines or doing soduko. My concentration comes back and I can actually sit down and read a few chapters ! Rare during the rest of the year.

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4. Family. Perfect time to connect with my girls and husband.

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5. Very little technology. And if the phone rings, I don’t answer. I will listen to messages at the end of the day.

6. Leisure walks. 

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The next couple weeks will probably be pretty much the same. We might do some sightseeing, we might not. Depends on my mood.

And that’s what I wait a year for.

To  take my time, to do what I want, when I want, with whom I want.

My definition of vacation.


What do you like to do on vacation ? Are you a planner or do you prefer to play it by ear ?


Comments: 2

  1. GiGi Eats July 18, 2014 at 4:18 am Reply

    I couldn’t be more envious of you! I need a vacation so badly, but in the line of work that I am in, I can NEVER be too far away from my computer and/or phone, it’s so annoying. I would love to take a vacation from it, but ugh, I just never feel like I can. I really need to get out of the country – that would be a great excuse!

    • Karen - French Inspiration July 18, 2014 at 8:33 am Reply

      Even a short break from computer / phones for a day or two is so worth it. And the world will continue to go on… and you just pick it up where you left off.

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