Share Tweet Ahhhh the beauty of annual leave. Those few days a year where you get to step out of the office, stretch your legs and enjoy life free from a brain full of excel documents and email chains. It’s liberating almost. Sure we don’t get enough annual leave and it always goes much faster than the work week. It’s almost as if the world is on fast forward and you’re desperately clinging onto the remaining days. It happens to us all. My annual leave typically involves somewhere warm or cultural; seeing something I would never see at home. I love it and wouldn’t change it for the world but one downside is that I commonly come back more physically exhausted than I am when I’m at home. Furthermore there is always a rush in the first week back to put my life back on the straight and narrow. Now i’m not advocating we seize all travel on annual leave . The thought of a vitamin D lacking Ryan is not great I can assure you. I’m currently spending a week off work unpaid due to moving jobs. This was my choice as it gave me a week with my Wife who happens to be a teacher and was on school leave. The week has been an eye opener for me as I’ve never actually spent a week off work where I didn’t go on vacation. Sure the weather is poor and i’m not enhancing my list of places visited in the world however the week off has been one of my most fulfilling leaves from work to date. So much so I plan to take leave of this kind every year. Here’s why: Spend time with partner: Although this can be achieved on vacation it’s sometimes great to spend time with your partner in your own home or surrounding area. We’ve done so much. Ate out at restaurants on our ‘must visit list’, caught movies, watched a heap of TV dramas, done things around the home, shopping. You name it we have done it. These are the type of things you aim to do at a weekend which happen to be on a smaller scale or get pushed to the back due to over commitments. In life you sometimes are ‘too busy’ to invest quality time in one another when in reality it ‘s incredibly important. We’ve had an absolute blast this week and all in the place we live and love. Spending time with Beth. See family: Extremely important one for me. We have family spread out across the UK and sometimes it’s hard to see everyone with work and other endeavours, Annual leave at home has allowed us to go see family members in their own surroundings; a staycation of sorts for us. We spent the weekend visiting Grandparents eating home cooked apple pie and listening to stories from World War 2. There’s not really a price you can place on that type of experience. I want to cherish family time and although seeing the world is very high on my life agenda as is spending time with the loved ones who are important to me. This was an amazing way to spend time off work. Younger brother and wife Beth 🙂 Brothers together! Priceless time visiting the Grandparents Get the ‘to do list’ done: It’s the 21st century and if you’re in a relationship and don’t have a to do list then there is something wrong. Everyone has the list of things they need to do. It may be car insurance, painting the house, building some furniture, booking dentist appointments. The type of things you push to the back burner until they become critical. Annual leave at home is a great time for you to get these things done. We made a list of everything we wanted to achieve in this week off and slowly began making strides. They don’t always have to be boring things but sometimes the boring things you put off are the most fulfilling once complete. Using this time off to ‘get things done’ as opposed to coming home from a vacation with more to do has been a great thing. Computer downtime: I work online. I average around 14 hours a day glued to a computer. It’s probably not healthy, it’s probably not wise but we all do it. My day job means I need to spend at LEAST 9 hours a day on a computer. That’s mandatory. If I don’t….I wont be paid. We web workers also have other properties of our own which we need to build on (You’re currently reading one of mine) as well as the procrastinating/research we may do using the internet for our everyday life. This will easily add up to 14 hours for most. It would be a lie for me to suggest i’ve ‘unplugged’ on my week at home because I haven’t. Throughout this week however I have spent around 2 hours a day maximum on the computer/smart phone using the internet. I would say most days probably an hour. Having this downtime is healthy. I haven’t felt the need to use the computer nor have I missed it. My mind is clear from thoughts and I actually feel at ease. I am however excited for starting work on Monday and implementing a number of fresh ideas I have had since stepping away from the computer. We all burn out and when you burn out you lose creativity/desire. Stepping away from the computer and doing things at home which you don’t normally do is a great experience and one I recommend for your health and future creative spark. Discover where you live: We all to live in certain places for whatever reason. It may be your parents who chose this specific place due to work commitments or you may have moved to a new city for education. Whatever the reason we live in different places across the globe. I live in Leeds and we have approximately 1,050 restaurants as well as the Yorkshire dales on our doorstep. It’s an awesome place to be from but I know sometimes you take it for granted and don’t utilise the place you live. Having annual leave at home means you begin to discover your surroundings. We’ve planned meals, days out and visits to specific places which surround us. All this without having to pay for vacation elsewhere. Where you are from may be better than what you think you just choose not to utilise it correctly or have the capacity to do so. Discovering new places to eat. Annual leave at home in the future? Stay at home time off is certainly not new. I’m sure families do this quite regularly but it’s never been something I considered as a ‘good use’ of annual leave. I would actually say the opposite now. It’s been one of the best uses of annual leave I have had throughout my working career. The things I have done, the accomplishments I have achieved and the time invested in family members has been priceless. We all put annual leave on a pedestal and think that if you’re not seeing some part of the world then it’s a failure. I will ALWAYS use part of my annual leave for that reason. I love travel and I want to experience life elsewhere but in the same breath I want to value what I have in front of me. A great life, partner, place to live and family. Use your time wisely. ……Annual leave at home will always be on my agenda from now on.