Returning from vacation: Fresh perspectives and change

Bratislava, Slovakia
An evening in Bratislava, Slovakia

The month’s vacation has concluded. There were frustrating moments, and joyful times. No earth-shattering accomplishments, but plenty of experiences. I expect the muted feelings here relate to my age: Bicycling through three central/east European countries certainly is a unique experience, and there was a certain joy in peddling between Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic, knowing that I had managed to cross what had been the Iron Curtain twice in a week — with no border controls.

Each evening, at various hotels, I would check my emails and communications. There were a few business tasks that I couldn’t delegate and so needed to defer — but mostly, everything worked the way it should. I’ll need a few days to cost out the fill-in fees for work done in my absence; a not insignificant sum, but okay for a month.

Aboard an Austrian ferry
Taking a break on an eastern Austrian ferry — virtually all of the passengers were also cyclists

And there are decisions to make now — which of the freelancers/contractors to continue using, and which to tell “maybe later” as I resume at least some of my former assigned responsibilities.

(Ontario Construction News is working well, but will need more marketing and other resources to grow, so we’re not quite ready for me to go 100 per cent to the model of “working on, not in” the business.)

There of course is a big difference between travelling to Europe for three weeks when you are 66 years old, and spending either eight or 18 months in Africa when you are 23 to 26 years old. In the earlier experience, the power is dramatic, especially since there are no precursors and the percentage of life spent on the journey is so much greater.

The best feeling I have now as I readjust to the routines is to be thankful for my good fortune. I have my health, love, family, and enough success in business that I can afford some vacations to distant lands. Time to return to work.

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