We’re back on Australian soil after a fantastic visit with our dear friends and family back in Boston. We visited a couple other locations for good measure, making this a very long trip. Since mid-December the total family air miles are just over 105,000, and who knows how many car miles on top of that. We left summer in the Southern Hemisphere, landed in freezing cold Boston where there has been about 30 inches of snow in the last month. We then went to tropical St. Thomas for a wonderful and restful visit (well at least Wendy and I did, the boys stayed home with grandma). We followed our visit to the tropical Caribbean with a week of cold and snow as we skied in Maine. Now we’re back to Australia where less than two hours off the return flight and the boys were in the waves at the beach. Hot, cold, hot, cold, hot… I think we’re going to need a break from our break.
How did I get to take so much time off and visit such great places you ask… It all started a couple years back… You see my company Vistaprint, (you should shop there, I can get you a deal), has a program called Vistabreak, every five years employees get a one month sabbatical. I’ve been counting down the days for a couple years now. With the business in Australia up and running, I finally got a chance to take four uninterrupted weeks off which was a welcome break for me personally, and it was great to spend so much time with the family, although I’m sure they got sick of me.
Now, there are a lot of people at work (God bless ‘em) who really take advantage of their extra time off. One woman used her Vistabreak to build houses in Haiti, others have used the time to really improve themselves, learn a language, hike the Appalachian trail, whatever. It’s become a bit of an arms race; I heard of one guy who was going to use his month to read multi-lingual children’s books to blind orphans, but I might have just made that up. I always expected that I’d be inspired and find something really important to do with my Vistabreak, I have a lot of respect for people who use the extra time to make a difference. But, in the end I got to a point where I really just wanted to unplug my computer for a couple weeks – and as a bonus I got a beach & ski vacation out of it. Maybe for my next Vistabreak I’ll find inspiration, I heard about a group who is trying to train guide cats, for those people with dog allergies in addition to a need for a companion animal.
So after a nice break we’re back at it in Australia. It feels a bit weird that Christmas was just a couple weeks ago and I shoveled a foot of snow last week, and we're back in the heat of Sydney summer. It feels even weirder that this is the last week of the kid’s Australian summer vacation. Believe it or not, school starts up a week from today. At least our kids won’t have to deal with snow days.
With our Christmas / Summer break behind us, we’re rested and ready to go, we feel ready for it, we know what to expect, where to go, how to act and what to do.
If only the airline could find our luggage.