Our trip to Alaska was amazing, and it's the longest vacation I've had since our honeymoon in 2009. That was entirely too much time in between. The last few years in particular we have limited our trips to five or six days at most. A week and change is better because I think it's enough time to fully bring you out of your routine. When you're able to get out of that routine, it makes a difference in the way you see life and the world around you. You get clarity.
I've been thinking a lot about the things in life and work that cause the most problems, and it's usually the things that you can't see. I also believe that the issues are invisible to an extent because they're too close to you. It's a terrible analogy to use actual sight, but there's some truth to the idea that some things are too close to obviously cause a problem. I don't have the magic code for seeing those issues.
Still, I do see one way to surface problems, and that's to get the hell away from them. Unplugging and getting away from regular daily life, and being distracted by some of the most beautiful things in nature ever, definitely have a way of bringing things into focus. I remember lying in bed, the last night we were in Seattle, feeling like everything about my world was clear. It doesn't all make sense, but I can see it at least. Clarity makes it easier to act.
What did I need to get away from? Well, daily life, I guess. The grind. I was feeling slightly unhappy and stressed, and I wasn't sure I entirely understand why. Now I get it, and I know where I can make adjustments. I just needed clarity, and a long vacation gave me that.