I feel guilty. I’m cheating. Instead of spending a significant amount of time to pen a witty travel story, I’ve lifted one from someone else. America’s Protestant work-ethic has taught me that this is wrong. I shouldn’t be playing, I should be working. It makes me sick that I feel this way.
Don’t get me wrong, I do value a strong work-ethic, but I’ve always believed in working hard, but I bucked my father in also believing that it should be complemented with a dedicated play-ethic as well. You see, after more than 55 years of life, he’s finally discovering some hobbies outside the realm of work. Work brought him joy and there’s nothing wrong with that, but I came wired a little different. I work to live, I don’t live to work. But that also makes me different than much of America.
This article touches on the ocean of difference in the vacation habits and work vacation allowances between the United States and the rest of the world. While I don’t believe that federally-mandated vacation time is the solution (in fact, I hardly believe in federally-mandated anything), I do think that it’s time for America to cede economic hegemony to some other workhorse (China seems willing, for example) and for us to do more of what brings us true joy – act on our wanderlust.