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The streak is broken

It's all about priorities

Last week I left the country for the first time in two years. It felt like forever since I'd had a proper vacation. But I promised my son a graduation trip and last year we just couldn't make it work with the timing of his High School graduation and dates to report to camp for his work as a counselor. But this year, since college ends much earlier, we had a bigger window. So I seized the opportunity and we decided to go to Holland for about a week.


The old way

In the past when I've traveled, I've planned everything ahead of time in terms of my social posts and my newsletter, often working until my flight departs to ensure that my social presence is uninterrupted (moron, I know). But I was convinced that I needed to maintain consistency. That if something didn't go out, my audience would forget about me or worse, become apathetic. I made myself crazy ensuring that content was in the queue and ready to go. And of course, when you start a vacation stressed because you haven't had a moment to breathe, you aren't setting yourself up for success. Or any element of relaxation.

The face of relaxation. And satiation. We ate at a greenhouse that grew everything we put in our mouths.

The Peace Palace at The Hague. We couldn't tour inside but was worth the visit on the grounds.


The new way

This time I decided that not only would there be no scheduled social posts (other than stories of my travels on IG each day), but that my newsletter would also have to wait. I flew back Thursday night and knew there was no way a newsletter was being written before 7am Friday when this normally goes out.

I knew this meant breaking my streak. And kind of like when you miss Wordle, it stings! A lot. But I also knew that after almost six years of consistent content, you all weren't going to miss one week or likely even notice. And you certainly won't unfollow me because of this. It's all in MY HEAD. This is about my insane need to keep up the content machine and frankly, it feels good to have released the strict parameters I've been holding myself to. And to know that at the end of the day, none of this really matters.

We saw so much art. Including Rembrandt's infamous The Night Watch at the Rijksmuseum.

We also saw this lifesize recreation of the painting done in the Delft pottery style at the Royal Delft Museum.


Surprising myself

It turns out that when you don't work up until the minute you leave, or even think about work on vacation, you have a pretty great time. The best part for me was spending time with Owen, but also seeing him develop as a traveler.

He loved the museums.

He listened to the audio tours.

We even bought a print for his room and a book which detailed one of the best exhibits I've ever seen, an artist named Matthew Wong, who sadly took his own life a few years ago. He was so inspired by Van Gogh but managed to both honor him and create a completely fresh way of painting that is completely his own. So the Van Gogh museum did a special exhibition showcasing some of his incredible work. If you can ever see this exhibit, I can't recommend it enough. (Some images below)



Of course we had to see one of the most famous paintings ever, Van Gogh's Sunflowers.

And a Vermeer. Sadly, Girl with the Pearl Earring is at a museum in Delft, but this one is pretty well known too.


Reaping the rewards

I've traveled to Europe with Owen before, but this felt different. Maybe because he's almost 19 and can fully participate in the planning (he found and picked the castle we went to!) and the navigating! But also because we got to move at a slower pace. I didn't overplan. We kept days open to simply decide what we wanted to do and spent so much time just wandering streets and neighborhoods. It felt relaxing. It felt special. And it felt like a true vacation.

And when I look back, I'll never remember that my newsletter went out two days late or that I didn't post on LinkedIn for a week. All I'll remember are the experiences, the time to decompress and the chance to see different cultures, art and of course, food!

DeHaar is the oldest castle in the Netherlands.

It has a legit moat!


I'd love to hear your story of a time that you simply let work go and what happened when you got back. And if you want to get my OOO template which helps infuse personality into the most stale of emails, email me.


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