I was chatting with someone (let’s call her Mrs. F) the other day about my need to travel again. It’s been quite awhile since I’ve had a lengthy trip, and I crave new experiences. Mrs. F was stunned. She reminded me that I have a house and many responsibilities now, and that the time for gallavanting around the world is past. Now it’s my turn to be stunned.
At my ripe old age of 23.99, I’m expected foreswear any more aimless wanderings in terra incognita and instead pursue a more sensible 3-day weekend in the greater St. Louis area every now and then. Blasphemy!
I’ve held the same job for nearly 4 years and successfully balanced career & travel. Of course the Liberry is very forgiving in this respect; not just for myself, either. Other senior staff members have left for a few weeks here or there, and the Liberry manages to keep its doors open. Are other institutions so forgiving? Perhaps not. It’s a shame that our society is so miserly with vacation time- Germans, for instance, are guaranteed 1 month of vacation per year for the whole family. However, I believe that the sort of place I’d like to work is ipso facto the very same that is flexible with employee vacation time. If they told me I would get only 2 weeks and no flexibility (that is, I can leave when I want to), I would seek employment elsewhere.
Is this unrealistic? Not at all. *Employers, this section is for you* It is a principled choice to treat employees respectfully and to keep them happy, within reason. The peripheral effects of such a policy include higher employee retention, lower stress and higher productivity. Sound too good to be true? Hardly. I see it (and live it) firsthand at the Liberry. People come back from long vacations with great attitudes, and those they left behind might just be glad to have a break from them, too.
As for my maison, we’ve got enough friends in the area to take care of the kitties and plants for months, if need be. This time of year, the house itself is largely self-regulating, save emptying the de-humidifier (which in turn waters the plants).
So that’s that. As long as I can afford it (maybe I should travel to the middle east and smuggle oil to pay for the trip) I’ll keep a’ ramblin’, no matter what.