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On Vacation

You may notice that I'm not updating the blog with our daily travels this week. We have elected to take a week of "vacation" and so I'm only posting non-travel bits until next Thursday.

Now, when I mention the word "vacation" I inevitably get the response, "What -- a vacation from your vacation?" So I'll explain ...

Our trip is that of a working family. I still do my day job nearly every day (7 days a week) while we are traveling in our Airstream. As I've written before, an Airstream trailer with mobile Internet, cell phones, a laptop computer, a cooperative family, and a lot of personal flexibility make this possible. I work whenever I get a chance, and see the world with my family at other times.

But there's no substitute for just unplugging. So when we started this trip, we agreed that at least once or twice we would truly disconnect from work and use the time to re-gain our perspective on everything. That's what a vacation is really about, for me. I don't want to remember my Airstream year only as a time when I was constantly scrambling to balance the obligations of family and work.

I think the obligations we have taken with us are the key difference between us and retirees. The goal of being retired, for many people, is to have most of the responsibilities of work and family behind you, so that you can roam the country without care. We still have those responsibilities but are unwilling to wait until we are retired to travel, so this is our compromise.

In that sense, we are travelers, not vacationers. It works for us. Life goes on, with all its minor dramas and trials, every day we are in our Airstream, but we enjoy our lives more and suffer the trials less because we are simultaneously doing what we love: seeing America on our terms.

Next week we will go back to our regular program of work and travel. But this week, through next Wednesday, we are just a family on vacation. I'll let you know what other perspectives I have gained, when we get back. In the meantime, I will post at least every other day, with some answers to your questions and lifestyle tips we've accumulated over the past two months.

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