What I Learned About Work on My Summer Vacation

Crater Lake is more beautiful than any of the photos you might have seen – including this one, which I took last week alongside tourists from around the world who were no doubt snapping the identical shot.

That’s just one of the many cool things I learned on my summer road trip. But mostly, I learned to not work – for the first time in years.

I’ve spent most of my adult life in a newsroom or working for news organizations. It’s an addictive, high-adrenaline lifestyle – you’re always on, always looking for the next big news fix, the scoop, the score.

So, the prospect of unplugging for a full 10 days was daunting and frankly, I believed it would be impossible. Usually, I’ve dreaded vacations, using my “week off” to finish up a project on deadline or catch up on chores. Some years, I didn’t take time off at all.

This time, the itinerary was relaxed and, for the most part, open-ended. Just beautiful country, plus a combination of good company and long stretches of solitude.

I’m proud to say that – other than a glimpse at one local newspaper section that had been left on a café breakfast table – I kept my news-free promise: to focus on myself and simply enjoy whatever happened, every day.

I missed the entire Republican National Convention, and who knows what else? And folks, it felt great!

Now that I’m back in the office, I can say I am truly refreshed. I actually looked forward to getting back to my news-editing shifts and picking up where I left off on a couple of interesting, meaningful projects. It’s like I’m seeing them with new eyes.

And just in case I let deadlines get the better of me, I can stare at Crater Lake – my new screen-saver – and daydream for a few minutes about next year’s vacation.