For nearly seven years, I worked on a cruise ship. Everyone thinks it is such an easy job but we did work every day! All jobs have stresses and everyone needs to take care of him or herself. My friend, Nancy, and I even used to offer to be the tester in the Spa for new employees. We would let the manager know if they gave a good massage.
Recently I read in Psychology Today, “A strong work ethic is great—until it backfires. If vacationing seems too “lazy,” think of it as a needed strategy to stave off depression and disease.” Lately, I have heard so many people tell me, “I cannot take a vacation.” As a near perpetual traveler, I am not always sure how to respond. But I think I have the answer from my co-worker at Princess Cruises, Nancy, who is now back in England and mother of three. She told me she had a great massage in London. With the pressure to succeed and the uncertain job market, it may be true that some people cannot take time off to go far from home and really recharge. Whatever you do, you need to take care of yourself. If you can find an hour or two for yourself, that may be enough to regain perspective, recharge and move forward to the live the life you have always wanted.
When my husband, George and I were in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2008 we took a five-day massage class. I could not believe how hard it was! We worked from 9am to noon and from 2pm to 5pm. Of course, half of the time you were giving a massage and the rest receiving. I had no idea that giving a true Thai massage was such a workout. It feels a bit like passive yoga. I loved being in the class and thought when we returned to regular life that we would make an appointment to give and receive Thai massages. Sadly, that did not happen. When we went back to work, we just felt too tired to spend one hour and a half giving the other a massage. We did keep other commitments we made to our relationship but we still have not practiced what we learned in class.
Now back on the road for another year as a true vagabond, I am grateful for having my dreams come true. George and I spent 27 days in Burma in October for my 45th birthday. There were moments when I felt tortured by the 40degree heat and my series of five broken bicycles. I wished for an ice bath and a UK Spa Break, but overall it was an incredible inspiring trip. Every day on the road or on vacation is not postcard perfect but I hope we can inspire you to take a step to making your personal dreams come true. Each one of us needs to be pampered and remember our goals.