Around this time each year, college students plan their escapes to sun-drenched regions with beachy views, plentiful brews, and bikinis for days.
Spring break is actually a time-honored rite of passage that according to an article in Time a few years back, had its origins as far back as ancient Greek and Roman celebrations of the spring, the season of renewal. The ancient festivals were much like the modern ones honoring Dionysus or Bacchus — the Greek and Roman gods of wine.
If you’ve fallen into a beginning of the year slump, maybe getting away for a short time is exactly what you need. Publicist Andrea Pass believes that “to effectively and successfully grow in your career, it is important to also enjoy your personal life.” On the fun level, she said: “Whether you take a cruise to the Caribbean, visit an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, hike in National Parks or tour Europe or the Far East, you’ll be creating lasting memories that allow balance in your life.”
But believe it or not, your fun few days away can have professional benefits as well. Pass said that having an interesting experience means “you’ll have a conversation piece to share with clients and other business associates.”
Still not sure if an adult spring break is right for you? Emily Brockway, co-founder, and CMO of travel company Noken which launched in November 2018 believes that vacations are an invaluable way to broaden your horizons both professionally and personally.
So, don’t think of it as playing hooky, your grown-up spring break could allow you to:
1. Build resiliency
“Being in an unknown environment and encountering a setback can challenge and stretch you in new ways,” said Brockway. “Traveling and putting myself in uncomfortable situations has been perhaps one of the best preparers for my entrepreneurial and personal journey thus far since travel requires you to be flexible and think on your feet in unfamiliar settings.
“Overcoming challenges while traveling has given me the confidence that I can handle any variety of problems that I face in the office with a level of calm and confidence.”
Spring break idea: Try heading to someplace new and challenging that will take you completely out of your everyday mindset. Movement coach and MovNat founder Erwan Le Corre runs a series of immersive natural movement courses in Tulum, Mexico. They’re rumored to be a bit grueling at times, but also remind you of the joy of running and sprinting and jumping and remembering the pure joy of being a kid. Can’t make it to a retreat? Le Corre’s new book The Practice of Natural Movement is a gorgeous and comprehensive compendium that retrains you in the most basic skill set: walking, running, balancing, jumping, crawling, climbing, swimming, lifting, carrying, throwing, catching, and self-defense.
2. Rest your brain and boost your creativity
“For the highest achieving, most creative individuals, resting your brain has long been the best stimulus for creativity and idea generation,” said Brockway. “Sometimes it is necessary to step away and take a break in order to produce fresh, new ideas. This definitely proved to be true for my fellow Noken co-founder, Marc Escapa, who formulated the idea for Noken while traveling in Iceland.”
Spring break idea: Travel and expand your skill set. The Visionary Projects creates immersive artistic workshops and events nationally and internationally. I’m dreaming about taking this one with artist Amanda Oleander in Miami Beach.
3. Build cultural competency and be a better manager
“More so than ever, companies are becoming more global and diverse,” Brockway said. The result is that “this increased diversity leads to wildly better and more creative business outcomes but creates a more complicated team structure that must be actively managed and nurtured. By traveling abroad and experiencing new cultures and ways of life, people equip themselves to better manage and lead diverse teams today.”
Spring break idea: If your company has offices around the world (or even in a different state) consider visiting that area for a while. Immerse yourself in the culture and meet your counterparts. Sure, it’s theoretically a vacation, but it also allows you to do a better job.
Ready to go? Pass says you should plan each day so that you aren’t tempted to log on or stare are your cell phone. “There’s nothing wrong with checking emails periodically, but breathe, experience, and try to get off the grid. You’ll be back at your job, raring to go after taking a break.”