The last time I did this was 6 years ago, and let's just say the exchange rate is not favourable to use my usual US tech people, especially since my ex-business is now a little hobby.
Okay, moving on.
Let's talk about holidays.
I was thinking about what worked well, what didn't... about holidays in 2015 and I thought I should get that down on paper before I forget.
Working through December
This was fabulous for a few reasons:
- aircon at the office during a heatwave. I'm never that motivated to get moving in the morning but to escape the heat? yes please.
- traffic. I don't have to say any more than that. I successfully dodged proper traffic for a full month - the extra two weeks worked while the rest of South Africa was on holiday, and the two weeks of holiday.
- I worked for a few hours daily and caught up with other stuff afterwards. Made me feel both responsible and like I was on holiday.
- I was holidaying when others were back. Bliss!
The only con was:
I returned to the usual madness at work. I even worked at home for about 7 hours over two evenings within my first 5 days back. It didn't bother me at all though because I was completely up to date when I left for my leave.
This year it won't be quite the same because we're now doing that thing where the company closes between Christmas and New Year but you have to use your own leave for this "privilege". #breathedeep #choosejoy
Timing of holidays
In 2015, we took leave during the last week of March, for a week and a half in July, and then January. I know it technically was this year but half of it was paid for last year.
This is not enough *in my opinion* for Jhb people in stressful jobs :)
I really think I need at least 4 breaks a year. We did this in 2014 and it was beyond fabulous.
So that's what I'm aiming for this year. I've finally reached that point at work (I hope) when you have sufficient leave days for most of what you want to do.
I plan to again take all the days before a public holiday to make long weekends, those 3 days in March that give you 10 days off in total, and so on.
The kids asked so nicely if we can please go back to the Drakensberg this year. We all loved our April break there in 2014 but that's not the issue; it's whether I can find reasonable, really nice accommodation.
We also want to see if we can do a fly to PE, leave kids with their cousins, and drive to Plett/ Knysna thing.
And of course, Ballito. Always Ballito :)
Cape Town was amazing but is so, so expensive that I'm not sure we'll be back for a good few years. I haven't told you that somebody dented our rental car while were parked outside a restaurant on day 1, so yes, that was a huge, unbudgeted expense. Still, in the grand scheme of things, the important thing for me to remember is that at least we had the money for it.
Spending time with my family is an important part of what will bring me joy in 2016.
How about you? Have you planned/ given thought to when you're taking leave?
(I've planned it all - a colleague started talking about it and I was suitably distracted so I gave in and marked off all public holidays)
PS these photos from a Pringle Bay sunset, in other words, after 8 pm at night!