I was informed today that I have over 100 hours of accrued vacation time at work. This is partially due to the fact that when I met my “three years of service” deadline, they gave me another week of vacation. My new office quite clearly values vacations (at least three have been taken by various team members in the six weeks I have worked here). All of this would be awesome except for these facts:
1) I just started a new job, with a responsibility level about 5 times what I am used to. To say there is a learning curve is putting it mildly.
2) I moved back to my “home state”, meaning that I live an hour away from most of my family and friends – I no longer need to carve out a week, I can see them whenever – and do.
3) At least 60 hours of this vacation time must be used before October 1, or it disappears forever. This is messaged as some kind of threat, I believe. I don’t get it – time doesn’t “disappear”, and the same amount of work will need to be done regardless of my vacation status.
So, out of curiosity, I plugged some dream destinations into Kayak. I thought I was supposed to get all my travelling done in my twenties, which I did, what with travelling around the country and studying abroad in London, but hey – I’m still single and childfree, so why not. I believe that to be some kind of qualifier for random, willy-nilly travel. Here is what I turned up as far as airfare ALONE:
Edinburgh, Scotland – 1200 round trip
London, UK – 900 round trip
Rapid City, SD – 409 round trip
Bangkok, Thailand – 1500 round trip
Jo’burg, South Africa – 2200 round trip
Sydney, Australia, 2000 round trip
NYC, NY – 194 round trip (a great price, I realize, but a vacation should mean going somewhere new, right?)
None of this includes hotels, trains, cars, sightseeing, food, etc, etc.
Based on the fact that in the last six weeks I have financed two separate moves and school supplies and clothes for four kids (long story), I think this “vacation” will need to be a “staycation” if it happens at all. Also, I haven’t checked my credit card balance in 2 weeks! Gulp. Then there are the other logistical barriers, such as:
1) I vastly prefer to be alone, but that said, even I would get sick of just myself in a new place for a week.
2) When I come back from said “vacation” there is a week’s worth of unanswered email, undone laundry, and unaddressed action steps.
3) Travel longer than 10 hours means kenneling my dog (which he loves) to the tune of 35 dollars per day (which I do not love). Which equals additional stress, knowing that if he gets kicked out for some reason and I’m overseas, they could not even contact me. I f I go somewhere drive-able, I have to take him – and I love him very much, but a vacation should not involve picking up poop, IMO.