What I Learned on My Vacation

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This year I went on holiday in America with my family. In three weeks, we have visited a large part of the west coast. Like in 2021, I share my lessons from a special journey in this blog.

Look forward

One of the most special places I have visited is the “Narrows” in Zion National Park. It is where deep grooves have been carved into the rocks by erosion with water. You can walk the rivers upstream and enjoy nature on the terraces of the beautiful rock formations.

Many stones are in the water, so you must walk carefully to avoid losing your balance and falling into the water. Many things should not get wet in my backpack, so I concentrated on where to put my feet best. As a result, I progressed slowly. My family was already ahead of me as I stumbled through the water.

Looking at my family, I noticed it was easier to move forward. If I lost my balance momentarily, I could quickly regain it while walking.

I’ve learned to look more ahead, to where I want to go, instead of focusing on small details. You then move slowly or even stand still. Looking ahead to where you want to go will help you move faster. And if you lose your balance, you can regain it faster because you are already moving.

Being pushy doesn’t help you

Yesterday I was on the road by car. I had to turn at an intersection. A man and woman walked on the sidewalk. There was also a cyclist that I had to give way to. Because I had to wait, I held up through traffic. That took too long for the car behind me, and I heard honking. I have not experienced much impatience in traffic during the more than 5,000 km we have driven in America. I also don’t remember a horn honk because someone had to pass so badly. There is much to criticize about the driving behavior of the people of America, but it is a relief how few people are pushy and honk.

I’ve learned not to get excited so easily (in traffic). That calms me, and I have a more pleasant day.


I can still remember a vacation from 1997(!). I was in Suriname with my father. We made a journey inland. There was nothing to do there, and we spent the day in a hammock. I was completely relaxed when I returned to the Netherlands.

How different is that after the holidays in America! We’ve done so much. I returned tired and needed a week to rest from the vacation (and get rid of my jet lag).

You can’t do everything. The lesson is to take time to rest, and that means not planning anything and not being tempted to visit something anyway.

Go out into nature more often to recharge

It was very busy in most places we visited and on the last day of our holiday. Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles was crowded with tourists and day-trippers on a Sunday off. Of course, seeing the stars around the ground and the Chinese cinema was special, but it was all intense, and we got tired of it. Earlier in the day, we had also been to a baseball game in a large, hot stadium with even more people.

We decided to go for a swim somewhere to end the afternoon. My sons can always find special places to go. We drove to a creek near Malibu. As I walked to the swimming spot, I felt the tiredness of the city slipping away from me. It was like coming into a refreshing bath, and I hadn’t even jumped in!

I learned to go into nature more often when I am overstimulated or tired. It is an excellent place to rest and get energy.

Be Grateful

Even though the holiday country was beautiful, I still saw a lot of misery while running, walking, and driving.

According to my family, I (too often) see bears on the road. I always try to prepare myself as best as possible (for something that may go wrong). That means that we arrive at the airport way too early or that I don’t think it’s possible to go for a swim, so we don’t miss the ferry or that everyone eats on time.

Due to good preparation and planning, some things also go better, but it does take effort, time, and irritation. And if things go wrong, we often find a solution.

Now that I’m back in the Netherlands, I realize how well things are here.

I have learned to be grateful more often for the things that I do have and that are going well in my life. It helps to speak this out and write it down.

Ask, “What do you want?”

I have written a lot about communication and how, for example, DiSC can help you communicate better with colleagues. But so is your personal life. Because I wanted to see as much as possible during our long journey, we regularly discussed the daily planning. My sons wanted to “chill” more often, and my wife wanted to do other things than I had in mind.

I have learned to ask more often what others want. Then, you come closer to the needs of others because you distance yourself from what you think and feel. That’s where the emotions are that may cause an argument.

Your WHY helps you figure out what you want

But what do you want? Do you feel that you have no control over the events in your life? Or are you struggling to make decisions?

Your WHY can help you determine what you want and what gives you the most energy. A WHY is a contribution that has an effect on the world. A WHY is always action-oriented and positive. Examples of WHY Statements can be found here. I can help you discover your WHY. Contact me today to get to know me.

What did you learn during your holiday this year? Let me know in the comment field below. The other readers of this article. and I are looking forward to reading from you!

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Have you seen an error in this article? Let me know! I am grateful!

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