Friday, July 16, 2010
Just a Hop Skip and a Jump Away!
One of the best things about living in Europe is the summer 3 week holiday. Yes, you heard me, 3 weeks!! This is normal and somewhat mandatory as businesses shut down at various times throughout the summer months. For all you Americans, yes the world can still go on and as predicted, and perhaps a bit more smoother.
Let's face it, vacations are part of the rejuvenation process and 1 week does not cut it. It takes a week to get into a groove and before you know it, it's time to hit the grind again. I don't think that fulfills the purpose. It's like anything cyclic, there is a need to vary the workload, intensity and rest periods. A training plan or even on a grander scale, Nature's seasons. hmmmmm.
As a somewhat independent contractor, I adapted the 3 week vacation in my lifestyle 15 years ago. Aha, it made no sense to me to live my life wishing I had traveled, fantasizing about climbing mountains, riding my bike in Europe, trekking in the Himalayas and Andes, caving in Belize etc.etc. I just flat out made it happen. and guess what? the world went on without me. SHOCK! no, not at all. I realized a long time ago seeing perfectly healthy folks have unexpectedly "have their number up" and others who live unhappily that I wasn't going to succumb to a lifestyle of having "things" verses "doing things".
However in America, 2 week vacations although talked about in benefits packages are not always easy to schedule. Are they paid? perhaps in some jobs, not in mine, and that STILL didn't stop me.
Nonetheless, 3 weeks is absolutely unheard of, how can that be possible?? After all, you are expendable and some other hard working drone will happily take your job. I digress.
On the opposite end of this spectrum is Europe. 3 weeks mandatory summer holiday is expected. Go away! Get out of dodge! Adios! Later Gater! Come back rested and ready to roll. And so it goes. Mr. X's 3 weeks start tomorrow. Late this evening we fill up the car with bikes,extra wheels, gear, food and clothes and set out for 2 weeks in the French Alps. Road trip extraordinaire! I booked an apartment in Vaujany and from there we explore and suffer the cols of the Alps. I am fortunate to have been there 6 years ago and am looking forward to returning as well a riding new routes that Mr.X has planned.
To all you "non cyclists" this may seem like absurdity and yes, it will be painful but the views and descents make it all worth while! Not to mention the cookies.