I believe in the importance of balancing your life. I know the term “Work Life Balance” is used a lot, but I could never understand how people balance work and life, your work is a part of your life, so I prefer to call it professional life v. personal life balance.
I believe in the importance of working hard, but I also believe in the importance of taking time off from work to enjoy personal time often.
Because of this belief, I routinely take vacations and time off from work (professional life). I try to take a least one week vacation every quarter, so by the end of the year, I would have taken four weeks (a full month) off. This to me is sooo important in order for me to refresh, reflect, and recharge so I can be the BEST person I can be.
As a part of taking time off, I love to travel, and Greece has been on my top 5 destinations to visit for a while, so when I had the opportunity to visit Greece last month for my birthday, I was super excited.
During my visit to Greece, I learned a few lessons that can be applied to both my professional and personal life, and I would love to share those lessons with you:
Write things down
I have had a list of places I would like to visit before I leave this earth, and Greece has been on my top 5 list for a while. In fact, I created a Pinterest board titled, “Travel- Places I would like to Visit” several years ago. I never knew if I would be able to visit any of the countries on my list, but I still made the Pinterest board. I really think amazing things happen when we write things down. Just the act of taking what is in our brain and placing it on paper sets things in motion. This can be applied to your life both personally and professionally. Wherever you want to go, whatever you want to achieve, the first step is to write it down. That’s why I teach my clients to write down their marketing goals, the first step to to getting results from your marketing effort is to write it down.
Seek things out
Although writing things down is the first step, it’s not the only step. Seeking things out and taking necessary action would be the next step, so when I wanted to do something special for my milestone birthday, I knew traveling was going to be a part of that something special, so I began to do some research to find out about prices to visit various countries, and then I decided to research a Mediterranean cruise and found a 7-day cruise that was pretty affordable that included two destinations on my top 5 list Greece and Italy, so I took action to make this dream a reality. I did my research and contacted a travel agent to help with the booking.
Step outside of your comfort zone
While on the cruise I looked at excursions we could do while in Santorini in the Greek Isles. One particular excursion sounded really good, it was a light hike (1 mile) and a swim in the hot springs, and then time to shop in the city. The hiking part was a little intimidating for me as I am not in shape and I tend to get out of breath easily, but the chance to swim in the hot springs of Greece sounded like a nice reward after a hike, so I decided to step out of my comfort zone and sign up for the excursion.
Make sure you have people around you who will encourage you
As we started the excursion in Greece the first few steps of the hike were challenging for me. I found myself lagging behind even the youngest and oldest people in the group of hikers. I knew I had issues with being out of breath easily but I didn’t realize how challenging a one mile hike was going to be for me. Luckily my entire family was on the hike too and made sure to encourage me and check on me and to make sure that I kept moving forward. It’s so important to have the right people around you, people who will encourage you when you are struggling. At some points on the hike I seriously thought about turning back and going back to the boat, but with the encouragement of my family and the will to continue, I made it to the top and felt so accomplished for not quitting (below is a picture of me and my family at the top of the mountain).
Challenges are what help you to grow as a person
Climbing the mountain was a major challenge for me that day, but climbing the mountain wasn’t going to be my only challenge during that excursion. A part of the excursion included some time to shop in the town of Santorini. I have to say the town is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Most of the shopping and the restaurants are on top of the mountain, so again I was faced with climbing a mountain. However, we were able to take the cable car up the mountain which was super easy. The challenge this time was coming down the mountain. We had tickets to take the cable car down the mountain but the line for the cable car to get down the mountain would be over an hour wait, and we had a limited time to get back to the cruise ship, so we had two options 1.) wait in the long line in the heat, or 2.) walk down the mountain back to the port. In order to not risk being late for the ship, we decided to walk down the mountain. Although walking down may not seem to be a challenge, it was! Between the crowds of people, the slippery cobblestone steps, the steep winding street, and the lines of donkeys going up and down the mountain, I thought I was going to die. There were many times I almost slipped and fell, and times when I thought I was going to be trampled by a donkey, but again with the help of family and digging deep, I survived and made it down the mountain. In hindsight, I learned a lot more about myself and how to overcome challenges walking down the mountain more than I ever would have taking the easy cable car down the mountain, so the lesson was challenges strengthen you and help you to grow as a person.
Overall, I had an awesome vacation and enjoyed my time in Greece and having the ability to totally take time off from my professional life to enjoy quality time with my family in my personal life.
Not only did I learn the five lessons I listed above, but the trip was also a reminder of the importance of making time to enjoy life with the ones you love and being totally present in the moment (no work, no social media, no text messages, etc.). I can’t wait to plan the next family vacay!