Vacations Offer an Opportunity for Perspective Taking
What did you learn about yourself and your home while away on vacation?
Posted Jul 25, 2011
It's that time of year for summer vacations! Going far away from home on a vacation can offer a unique opportunity for perspective taking that is hard to achieve in other ways. Getting far away from your usual routine, stressors, comforts, contextual cues, and such provides a special chance for reflection.
If you have gone away this summer, what have you learned about yourself, your home, and your own culture?
What did I learn? Well, I think the following 5 insights were especially striking to me.
1. America tends to be a very Type A place. Our lifestyle focuses on getting a lot done and done quickly. Being productive, working hard, and never having enough time to achieve became much more apparent to me while in Europe.
3. The siesta tradition is a civilized way to be in the world. As is well known, many countries take a mid day break of several hours to rest, eat, socialize, and so forth before returning to work later in the day. How civilized is that?
5. Things used to be built to last. Cathedrals, monuments, ancient aqueducts sometimes over 1,000 and even over 2,000 years old still exist and are both functional and beautiful. We tend not to see that in the USA. In fact where I live in northern California, once a home is sold the odds are very high that it will be destroyed and a new home will be built on that location.
Additionally, travel allows us the opportunity to see the world through the lens of others and perhaps provides a chance to develop solidarity with others. Now when I learn of troubles or concerns in places where I've been (e.g., the financial crisis in Portugal) I have particular people in mind who I am concerned about.
So, where have you been recently and what have you learned?