UNITED STATES—What has this country come to? It seems like the good ole days of Americans taking personal holidays (sick days) and actual vacations have become a thing of the past. You might be saying why I have this belief. Well can you tell me the last time you went on vacation and didn’t actually have to check-in or do some sort of work at your day job?

Yeah, it seems more and more Americans are working on their vacation and it’s disturbing. The point of a vacation is to NOT work. So if you’re working, then are you actually on vacation people? My answer is no. If you’re working, you’re not on vacation. I don’t care if it’s for an hour or two, the goal of a vacation is to relax, decompress, clear the mind and rejuvenate your body. None of that is possible if you’re stressed about work and worrying about things you need to fix that you shouldn’t be worried about because you’re NOT supposed to be working.

For some it is a direct result of staffing shortages; there just is NOT enough people to step in or complete the work that individual would normally do if he/she were not scheduled to work. That is indeed a terrible feeling because it places you in a situation where you feel you’ll never get that long needed break that your body is telling you that you need, but you’re ignoring it out of fear of losing your job, not being able to trust someone to do what you do without being asked to do or a host of things. Hell I remember as an undergraduate when I was on vacation from my job they actually called me asking me to work because they didn’t have anyone else. They paid me of course to work a few hours and threw in a few bonus perks, but just the thought of having to work when you’re not expected to work is hard to describe.

You don’t want to let your job down, but at the same time, you still want to break-away from work if at all possible. I don’t care what anyone says: NO ONE WANTS TO WORK 24/7! You have to have time away from work, if you’re just working all the time without ever taking time away from work you will not live life. You don’t get the opportunity to REST.

Rest if vital when it comes to work. Imagine working 10-12 hour workdays for7-8 weeks without a single day off. Your body is not just going to be exhausted, especially if you’re performing blue collar or physical labor, but when you do finally have a moment to yourself you are going to be tired beyond being tired. No one can operate like that, even if you think you can. Trust there is going to come a point where you want some time off and if you don’t get that time off its going to put you in situation where you might become passive aggressive and distant from your work.

You do the work that you have to do it, but at the same time you start to have this animosity at your place of employment because you’re feeling trapped and you have no way out. A 7-day vacation gives you the opportunity to have a few days to do anything you want beyond work. The problem with working while on vacation is that you’re still working; so you cannot fully detach from work even if you think you have.

Written By Zoe Mitchell