Up until 2020 it would have been unthinkable for me to take time off work and just stay at home. Heck, in most years I didn’t take time off work at all that wasn’t used to travel to a WordCamp or other tech conference.
These days things are definitely a bit different. So far this year I’ve scheduled 3 full weeks of PTO and I’ll be taking the 2nd of those 3 weeks in mid-August and, at least as of now, we’ll spend it all at home.
There are days I miss travel but I don’t ever want to go back to where things were, both in terms of not taking PTO and in how often I was on the road in general. Instead I dream of moving somewhere where I don’t feel like I need to travel to be happy. I want to be someplace with an actual sense of community where we can take a train to explore new areas without the ridiculousness of modern travel via airplanes or driving.
For most of the last few decades our society has become obsessed with travel as some sort of necessity. Even as our homes have gotten bigger we can’t fathom the idea of staying home for a few days, much less for an entire vacation or a full year without travel. That lifestyle is unsustainable and will soon be gone for most whether they want it to be or not.
As that lifestyle becomes unattainable it will be more important than ever for all of us to find that local community and comfort in our homes that even I have been searching for over the past few years. Today it’s closer than ever for me as we spend more time at home and don’t travel for vacations or other events. The sense of community is still to come and, I hope, we’ll be able to find after our next move, wherever that might be. For now, though, I’m pretty happy with staying home for my time off and really happy that I’m finally taking time off in general. That feels like a great place to be.