30 Days to Hawaii: Why I Need a Vacation (And Why You Do Too)

Sure, we all know that vacations are fun, exciting, and relaxing. But did you know there are also work and health benefits too?

In fact, the sole idea of preparing for a vacation will spike your levels of happiness, according to a Dutch study. Simply planning a vacation, as I am doing right now, has shown to boost in happiness, for up to eight weeks! Having something to special to look forward to can put a pep in your step even when your day is far from extraordinary. Just think about it, how many times have you been stressed about finals or a work project, only to say to yourself, “In a week this won’t matter at all…”

Additionally, studies have shown that people who vacation often are less stressed, more productive, and live happier lives. In the Framingham Heart Study, more than 12,000 men who were at risk of heart disease were followed over nine years to see if there were ways to improve their longevity. The conclusion? Researchers have found that the more frequent the vacations, the longer the men lived. It’s literally as simple as that.

Aside from the happiness and health benefits, the one thing that I love about vacations is that it provides you with things that make everyday life more interesting. Though I am definitely a creature of habit, there is something amazing about taking breaks from the incredibly mundane parts of your daily cycle. Though I enjoy my routine of sleep / eat / work / eat / exercise / play / eat / sleep, sometimes it’s nice to just walk away from all of it at once, and get to do something else for a change.

What I loved most about college was the fact that your time was segmented into different parts. Life was easy cause nothing ever really mattered if it was more than 3 months away. The only things you look forward to are things like the day you finish your thesis, or when take your last final, or when your fraternity gets off social probation. These events have definitive dates, and you can plan accordingly. In the real world, you never know what will come at you next. Do you desperately need a raise? That could come in a month or a year, or in a downturn economy, not at all. Did you want to buy a house? Just saving up for that down payment can take years, and who knows when you’ll find the perfect place? But taking a vacation, those days are set. You have something to circle on the calendar, and something to daydream about with full knowledge that you’re going to jet set somewhere awesome and relax for a while.

…And then you come back, with a greater sense of self satisfaction, and finding more meaning in life. Though this may not last forever, the memories of the times you took off will definitely last you until your next vacation.

Yu Live, Yu Learn

Photos from here and here.

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