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Monday, April 14, 2014

On Another Level

By Andy

“Man, when you take a vacation, you take a VACATION,” exclaimed my friend, after learning I just arrived home from a month in Ukraine for the Euro 2012 tournament. To him, this was unfathomable because his version of a vacation was a weekend in San Francisco or Los Angeles. With the exception of once going on a week-long Alaskan cruise with his wife, he had never ventured too far from his comfort zone. It could be a fear of visiting another country, lack of finances or simple laziness in failing to get a passport, his world consisted mostly of working, coming home and plopping down on the couch to enjoy satellite television. That, combined with occasional trips to places like Disney Parks, Hawaii or Sedona, Arizona, satisfies most people, but others have a different set of standards, and hence, take it to a whole new level.

I am one of those people. Spending my vacation time traveling to far off places is the norm for me. Just to give you an idea of where my standards are, anything less than that is unacceptable. There will be mentalities and vibes that vary from city, state and region, but I personally gain nothing culturally enriching from traveling within my own country. There is nothing necessarily wrong with visiting places in one's own country (to each their own), but in order to truly see the world, traveling abroad is a must.

Believe it or not, there are some people who are baffled as to why I travel so far. I tell them I could very easily save my hard-earned money by taking a staycation. I state that I could take the supposedly easy road and waste my time and money at the local bar or dance club, being invisible despite my best efforts to remain otherwise, to mediocre women. I could just spend a week cleaning my apartment or working on my car. I could waste a week's worth of vacation time at the beach or someplace nearby that I always visit on the weekends, anyway. But I know all of that is way in my past, I moved on to another level, "the major leagues," a long time ago.

While some schmucks are working themselves to death with overtime to finance that essentially worthless engagement ring, I'm putting forth a consistently strong work ethic during my scheduled work hours and occasional overtime to save money for myself and my trips. While others are spending their weekends at Home Depot for their latest home projects, I'm in the travel book section of the bookstore. When others are out house hunting, I'm looking at a map of my next travel destination. While Mr. No Character is at the dealership, blowing his wad on the latest and greatest toy to impress the local Ms. Shallow, I'm shopping for plane tickets. While the local sheeple flock like lemmings to the grand opening of Five Guys, I'm putting in some time at the gym in order to avoid looking like some fat expat.

I don’t smoke, I rarely drink, and I don't dabble in drugs. I go out to eat only on occasion, and I spend money on what I NEED, and less on what I WANT. I minimally spoil myself at home and indulge a bit more when traveling abroad. I rarely call in sick from work, and that means three-day weekends are very minimal. They are extended weekends and not vacations; I don't let anybody tell me otherwise.

To me, vacations last at least a week, and I set my own personal standard of taking at least two weeks vacation, especially If I'm traveling halfway across the globe. If I am able to take longer than that, rare as it is, great. If not, no problem, because my mighty work principles, impeccable attendance and commonsense spending habits guarantee me at least two weeks of rest and relaxation. Yeah, I've taken longer than two weeks vacation before, because I had a sh*tload of vacation time saved up. My theory on that is if you have a job that you can get away with being out of the office for that long, have a rather lenient boss that recognizes your true workplace value and actually understands the real concept of vacation and who truly deserves it, then do it!

Deep down I know I take care of business. I understand the value of not only desiring things, but earning them. When I'm on a plane to the next great destination, relaxing with some tunes or reading a good book, I know I earned it. Even though I'm literally and figuratively thousands of feet on another level, I only look out the window to enjoy the scenery outside, not to look down upon those who don't share my perspective. When I get dates with quality women who are actually interested in me, shortly after my flight has landed, I understand about the extra money I paid for that plane ticket, and that the 12+ hour flight I just took was worth it.

Swallowing the red pill and taking that first trip abroad puts you on a level you never even knew existed If you’re like me and have an active and curious mind, you have an insatiable desire to keep exploring long after you’ve taken that first trip. What novices to traveling abroad have to realize is that the first trip is only the beginning, and it only gets better with the exploration of new lands, new cultures and meeting different people. When people interrogate the f*ck out of me, out of shock for me traveling to places they’ve never even heard of, I calmly explain that I simply have a different set of standards. I operate on another level.

1 comment:

  1. I like your thinking of how you save up. Im like you as well as Im doing the same thing. Too bad many people don't realize that saving is the key. Even I tell others about it yet they never get it


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