26 Years of PTO: Musings on Vacation Time

Nothing like being on a career break to make a gal think about the importance of vacations. Consider for a moment the typical American vacation package of two weeks per year. Along with handful of holidays, things like Christmas and Labor Day, two weeks is seen as fairly standard. By the time we get back to California, this Propane Kitchen trip will be one full year in length. Meted out in two-week increments, that’s 26 year’s worth of vacation time. If I’d taken some kind of advance vacation time loan, I would need to work nonstop until I was 59 years old in order to repay all this leisure time. And only then would I get another two weeks off. Rather a grim thought, isn’t it?

What’s worse, the work-work-work mentality is often self-inflicted. When I left Annie’s, I cashed out five weeks of vacation time. I’d like to say that was part of a master plan – save up vacation to give this trip a financial boost – but while that was nice, it wasn’t a conscious choice. Even taking into consideration Annie’s generous benefits policy that was nearly two year’s worth of PTO. That’s MY fault. Continue reading