Happy Friday – Happily Back At Work

Sunset at Secret Beach =)

Sunset at Secret Beach =)

Today we’re wrapping up our second week back in the swing of things after what (for us) was a fairly epic vacation to Hawaii. And though work has been fairly hectic for both of us since returning, it’s also been pretty darned good as well. It’s that fact (even more than the brand new farmer’s market that has started a short walk from our house or the three otters – two pups and a mother – that crossed my path on a jog a couple of mornings ago*) that is truly making this a Happy Friday for me.

Like I was telling Mama and Papa PoP the other day, this vacation was different than any other vacation that I feel like I’ve been able to take in pretty much my entire career. At 2.5 weeks, it was officially the longest vacation** I’ve ever taken in my 33 years of life on this planet, unless returning to my parents’ house over the Christmas holidays in college counts as a vacation. On that count, my sister would heartily agree with me that it does not. =P

And I’ve got to say, those 2.5 weeks feel like they made a huge difference. Yes, our schedules were a little off on our return (a 6 hr time difference didn’t help there) and Mr PoP and I both spent at least a week battling germs we seemed to acquire on our return flight. But despite those factors, upon my return I’ve had more energy and enthusiasm at work than I’ve had in a while. Honestly, it feels pretty great not to have the words “too short” be at the tip of my tongue when asked how our vacation was.

These feelings probably stem from some combination of many factors:

  • It probably wasn’t just the extra days (since Mr PoP added 7 to our original trip plan), or
  • the chance those extra days provided to add an extra destination to our trip (I seriously LOVED Kauai!), nor was it likely only
  • the six-hour time difference that meant I wasn’t overlapping schedules with many friends and coworkers for live communication, or just
  • the fact that Sprint service (and thus my Ting phone) left something to be desired and so I had my phone in Airplane mode most of the time, or that
  • we were able to see an amazing sunset (see below) and more stars than we’d ever seen before from the top of the world’s tallest mountain, or that
  • most of our trip was totally unscheduled and unlike “real life” there were very few places that we had to be at a specific time.
  • And, no doubt, starting the trip in what felt like a hiking paradise and then ending the trip by doing some paddleboard yoga (which I love but don’t get the chance to do all that often) the morning before our flight departed certainly started AND ended the trip on high notes.

Sunset next to the observatories at the top of Mauna Kea.

Mr PoP and I have been trying to accomplish quite a bit since we got married nearly seven years ago. We’ve made what we think is some pretty amazing financial progress in that time, increasing our net worth by about a factor of 10. And we’ve tried to do it without feeling monetarily deprived or hindering relationships by coming off as cheap instead of generous. But there have definitely been instances when it felt as though time (a resource more precious than money) was in short supply in our lives. This vacation was a nice reminder to stop and smell the plumeria*** more often. Because doing so puts me in a better position to enjoy everything in life just a little bit more.


* And seriously, the farmer’s market AND the otter spotting both made me ridiculously happy!
** I’m defining vacation as going to a destination other than home for purposes of enjoyment, not work or school.
*** Neither Florida nor Hawaii seem to have much in the way of roses, but plumeria abound. =)


Have you ever been happily back at work after a vacation? What are you happy about this Friday?

14 comments to Happy Friday – Happily Back At Work

  • Is this perhaps the best reason to be secure with money but not fully retired? I think we too are happier with work structuring our lives but being able to take large stretches of time off to get refreshed. You still have income coming in and don’t have to stress about the markets, but you also have enough money that you can say “sure, I’ll take my time off with no pay.”
    Leah recently posted..Life LessonMy Profile

    • Are you able to take large parts of the summer without any work duties, or is boarding school more of a year round gig?

      • Depends on the school. Some schools require you to work in the summer or move out and let others live in your apartment. Our school does not require summer work, but it is an option. Some summers, we do stuff; others summers, not. One summer, we went away for 6 weeks. That was mostly awesome except I needed to do some curriculum planning and didn’t get much done.

        This summer, things are still up in the air. With the toddler, we don’t want to work in a structured way. But I really need to redo curriculum for a class that is changing format (tho still the same content).

        In short, we do have some time to travel or just relax at home, and we really relish that time.

        Do you have the option to take a bit more vacation when needed to help you refresh?
        Leah recently posted..Life LessonMy Profile

  • It sounds like that trip was just what you PoPs needed! When I travel internationally, I have found 3 weeks to be my ideal. At that point I want my own bed and to know where my meals will be coming from. I wouldn’t say I was happy to return to work any of those times…..but we saved and invested hard over the past several years…..and can now pursue our passions with some flexibility. Our goal isn’t to do nothing, and we will always be working in some capacity or another, but this is so much more sustainable and I suspect your version of FI/ER is similar.

    I hope you have a great weekend
    Income Surfer recently posted..Not In Our Portfolio!My Profile

    • At about the two week mark we were both missing Kitty PoP and how he climbs into bed with us every night. So we were ready to come home when the trip came to an end. =)
      We will see you next weekend in Omaha, right?

  • After our NZ trip last year, I didn’t want to go back to work! It made me want to stay off work. The last time I was happily back at work after a trip was when I went on a two week solo trip a few years ago and I got bored of having no one to talk to!
    Leigh recently posted..March 2016 net worth update (+3.9%)My Profile

    • I totally hear you on your reaction to your NZ trip. That was me after every other vacation I’ve ever taken!

      Where was the solo trip? Mr PoP went solo camping last year and was very chatty when he got back from that after not really talking to anyone for days!

  • So much envy. I’ve never been on a two week vacation. The trip to Thailand we are planning next January comes close, but only results in about 10 actual days on the ground there, and we are still planning on rushing back so that Marge doesn’t have to use more than 8 vacation days. Two plus weeks should be possible in the next couple years though. I would love to have a vacation that didn’t seem “too short.”
    Norm recently posted..What Do You Do With Excess Cash?My Profile

    • Marge’s vacation situation sucks. No way around that and I can definitely empathize. Mine only got pretty generous over the last couple of years as I graduated into higher tiers after being with my company for more than 5 years. Before that I was in a similar boat and taking more than a week off at a time was really hard!

  • Mama PoP

    Kitty PoP was a great houseguest, although I imagine that he missed you, too. So glad that you were able to take the extra days to relax.

  • This is exactly how I felt after our honeymoon! Complete refreshed and actually ready to get back to work. Sounds like y’all had an amazing vacation!
    Lisa recently posted..Q1 2016 Net Worth UpdateMy Profile

  • That sounded like a great vacation.

    I’ve had the opportunity to take long vacations. 3 weeks but for some reason it’s never made me glad to be back at work. I’m always happy to get back home.
    The Roamer recently posted..Big Savings & Happiness, Can you have both?My Profile