I recently returned from a European vacation with one huge milestone — I went without my work laptop. Yes, you read that right. For the first time ever, I left my Mac behind and turned off Slack. At first, it was tough to shake off the Type A urge to be constantly available. I had to quiet my anxiety of missing out with cappuccinos and croissants. But I knew it was necessary.

Why? This was the first time I was taking my 6-year-old to Europe. I wanted to meander through cobblestone streets with her, get lost in the adventure, discover hidden gelato stands, and, for once, not be a slave to the clock. I owed this to her and to myself.

As the days passed, something remarkable happened. My mind, free from work-related thoughts, started to spark new ideas, oddly about work! New product marketing concepts came to me while eating paella. A new plot line for my novel emerged in a dream. Each day, as we wandered aimlessly, immersed in the charm of tiny streets and dark blue seas, more thoughts emerged. A more meaningful life, a better story, a deeper love, and a more focused career.
Writing down these new ideas felt calming, a stark contrast to the usual frenzy I experience when juggling my to-do list. My daughter commented on my new tranquility.

“Mommy -this is the first time we can just take time and do whatever we want!”

New ideas would have never surfaced in my routine daily grind. It took the Mediterranean sunshine, ample mental space, and yes, plenty of gelato, to unlock this creative potential.

💡 Embrace the Vacation Break 💡

Taking a real break from work can be transformative. It’s not just about relaxation and family time (although, yes, those are important too!). It’s about creating the mental space for new ideas to flourish. So, the next time you’re planning a vacation, consider leaving your ALL work behind. You might be surprised at what you’ll new paths you’ll uncover.

Post originally appeared on my LinkedIn

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