When was the last time you enjoyed a true vacation? I don’t mean a couple days off while you worked from home or a poorly planned trip spent stressing about the 60-hour workweek waiting for you upon your return. I mean a real vacation — the type that you can look back on years from now and still smile about.
If you can think of a recent occasion when you did just that, then congratulations — you’re in the minority. But if you’re like the increasing number of Americans who find themselves rarely taking relaxing time off, you may need a little push in the right direction.
There will never be enough hours in the day, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to make each and every one of them count. Taking the time to plan an adventure with your loved ones is a big part of making the time away count. Here are four quotes that can help adjust your perspective and encourage you to finally make the time for that dream vacation.
1. “The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Many people’s lives are centered on their careers. They work well beyond the 9-to-5 framework, spending countless hours away from family and friends, all in the pursuit of some vague idea of future happiness. But happiness can only be achieved if you have specific goals in mind — otherwise, your sanity may end up being perpetually deferred.
Approach every day as a new opportunity to seize moments to alter the course of your future. Traveling the world and having once-in-a-lifetime experiences takes years of hard work, planning, and saving. Every task you undertake should be done with pride and dedication, leading to great things in the future.
Likewise, not putting in the effort today can lead to lost opportunities or time wasted. Tomorrow should not be spent looking back at what could have been.
Your ideal vacation may only be possible if you’re willing to work through sleepless days or seasonal aches and pains. By actively working toward your goal, all your struggles will be worth it when you’re swinging carefree in that hammock on the beach with a cold one in hand. Make hard work today the best preparation for your adventures tomorrow.
2. “We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious — and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” — Walt Disney
Let’s be honest: Summer vacation, travel, and Disney go hand in hand for the majority of the population, so no discussion about summer travel would be complete without a “mouserrific” reference.
While Disney wasn’t referring to the ultimate summer vacation trip, it’s still applicable. Any vacation, staycation, or “bucket list” trip has elements of curiosity and discovery to it, just like life itself. You have to ask yourself the right questions to help you determine what you want to do with the time you’re given.
Whatever your dream is, whether it’s backpacking across Europe for a month or lounging on the top deck of a luxury cruise liner, what’s important is the opportunity it gives you to have a brand-new experience.
To live a full life is to embrace curiosity, learn and experience new things, and pursue your future in ways unimagined — one of life’s many reasons to “just keep swimming.”
3. “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” — Unknown (often attributed to Jennifer Lee)
Just because something is unfamiliar or challenging doesn’t mean you should dismiss it in favor of the path of least resistance. Case in point: For years, I worked toward being able to travel the country by motorhome, seeing places I never could as a child. But I knew that with young children, I’d probably require a second vacation to recover from the first.
Many of the concerns I had were perfectly reasonable: weather, road conditions, driving in unfamiliar places, or horror stories of accidents with wildlife. Just because those fears were valid did not mean I should’ve given up on a dream that had driven me to work hard for so many years!
Did any of those fears outweigh the feeling I’d get when my son saw a bison in person for the first time? Or when I walked through a meadow in Yellowstone with my whole family around me? Those memories are priceless — not only for me, but also for my children and spouse.
Dispel the fears holding you back, and open yourself up to moments that can truly set your soul on fire.
4. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” — Lao Tzu
Great accomplishments come from humble beginnings. Whether your “bucket list” trip includes soft white sands or nature’s most undisturbed sites, there’s always a first step to be taken. You just need to figure out the path in life that gets you there. Never let fear stop you from exploring the unknown. You’ll hit some setbacks, for sure, but you’ll also find yourself with plenty to celebrate. Take control, and take time to enjoy life with those who matter most to you.
Society expects us to sacrifice ourselves by working long days and nights. Those sacrifices only make sense if they’re in service of more personal priorities: spending time with friends and family, visiting new and exciting locales, or just relaxing at home.
It’s important to stop and give our undivided attention to the people we work so hard to provide for. Don’t skip that vacation — there will always be more work to do. In the end, no one will remember that you stayed at the office until midnight — except maybe your family.
Daniel Wesley founded Quote.com to set the standard for simplicity when shopping for auto insurance.