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Vacation ideas ~ Alphabe- Thursday

Vacation ideas  ~ Alphabe- Thursday

This week’s letter is ‘V‘ for

~ vacation ideas ~

Having traveled to and lived and worked in a few countries, I thought I would share my thoughts on vacation days and vacation ideas with you in this week’s Alphabe- Thursday. You are probably aware of the fact that paid vacation days vary widely from country to country all over the world. Here is a comparison of the annual leave per country on wikipedia. My personal history is: 31 days (Germany) to 20 days (Australia) to 15 days (America) to 31 days (Germany) to 24 days (Switzerland) to 30 days (German).

Now we are in the US, I am self-employed and David gets, due to his working for the same company  for a long time, 25 days. Which is really good for the US, however 1) it is a German company he works for, 2) a lot of employees don’t take all of their vacation days and 3) still – a lot less days than in Germany. Having seen the highs and lows of paid vacation days, my question is: Why is it that there are so few in the US? Digging a little deeper you will find that even by law there are no minimum paid vacation days in the US. Isn’t that mind boggling? Sometimes I have the distinct feeling that I am very European. And this is one of the times.  Because I believe that vacation days, just like lunch breaks are there for a reason. And this reason is simple: Replenish your batteries! Having more paid vacation days AND actually taking them, not only serves you, but also your employer, by keeping you healthy and refreshed. I am not too good with words, but I found this article in the International Business Times online, which explains it a little better. Please read it.

Now I will return to the things I am better at – photos and travel and vacation ideas.

waves, shore break, turmoil

I have made this little map in Google Maps. So far, I have only added all the countries that I have been to. But in the future I intend to add the exact places to it, text and also photos. This is an interactive map, meaning you can click on it, move it, zoom in and check on the markers that I have entered. My home country, Germany, I marked in red. The blue round markers show countries I have been to, but either too long ago or I did not take many photos. The sailing boats represent windsurfing spots and the camera – well, you can guess that one, right?! Please go ahead and try it out. You can click on the link and it will open the larger map in a separate tab. Let me know what you think.


View Vacation in a larger map

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Jenny MatlockThis is my contribution today to round 5 of Alphabe- Thursday hosted by Jenny Matlock. If you have a moment please visit her website and check out other ‘student’s’ work and her ‘terrific tangents’.

  • Rocky Mountain Woman

    In my work I deal with several overseas companies. They do seem to get and use more vacation time! I guess we are all a bunch of workaholics here…

    • Claudia Willison

      Thank you for taking your time of reading and commenting, Rocky Mountain Woman, however, I don’t know… there may be a lot of workaholics here in the US, but is that purely a good thing? I love my work as much as anyone, maybe more because I am self-emplyed. And I have worked a lot of (unpaid) overtime all over the different countries I have been to, just like most of my co-workers. I just don’t seem to understand why America/American employers don’t see the benefit when their employers have and take more vacation days… sigh… thanks again!

  • Debbi Decker

    I want your life. Le sigh.

    • Claudia Willison

      Be careful what you wish for, Debbi! Its not all ‘paid vacation days’ 🙂

  • Jamie J

    I agree about not having as many vacation days as other countries, but since I don’t have the money to travel and I get bored easily just staying at home, I have been guilty about not taking all of mine. Now that I’ve been out of work since March and am going into a new career, I think I will take more time for myself once I get a job in my field. Especially since photography has become my passion. Great “V” post!

    • Claudia Willison

      I am keeping my fingers crossed that you will find the job you want while nurturing your passion for photography, Jamie. And please do take the time off you will be given to take care of yourself.

  • Holly

    I’ve read about that before and am always astounded by how few we have. It seems like such an injustice, and so many people just work themselves to the bone. I wish workers were more appreciated, receiving fair vacation days and a fair working wage as well.

    • Claudia Willison

      Very true words, Holly. I believe that there will always be a certain amount of injustice in this world. However, even if it were decreasing just a little, a lot of people would be happier.

  • Karen

    next time, take me! I will carry your camera! LOL

    • Claudia Willison

      Uh oh – the camera alone is not that bad, if you want to carry the whole backpack… that would be another story 😉

  • Keri

    Lovely blog, Claudia….Beautiful photos! I especially love your seascape above, “In Turmoil” .& your food photography !

  • Esther Joy

    Since I am retired now, I guess I can’t gripe about vacation days – except I seem to work just as hard now as when I did nursing!

    • Claudia Willison

      I guess that does happen, too, voluntarily or in-voluntarily, that retirees work just as much as during their ‘normal’ working lives… I hope you at least that you are enjoying it.

  • Catharina

    Es ist ein schwacher Trost, aber unsere Kollegen in Asien haben auch wenige Tage.

    • Claudia Willison

      Ja, das ist wohl wahr. Asien ist eine ganz andere Kultur, in der ich noch nicht gelebt habe und worueber ich daher nicht schreiben kann. Ich beschwere mich auch nicht ueber die ‘wenigen’ Urlaubstage hier, aber ich finde diese Diskrepanz, dass es in einem westlichen, entwickelten Land wie den USA keine Minimum Urlaubstage per Gesetz gibt… hmm, erschreckend.

  • Jamie "ChatterBlossom"

    I agree! Paid vacation days seem like a sure way to make sure your employees aren’t burnt out.

    And the pic of the ocean is breathtaking! What a great shot Claudia!


    • Claudia Willison

      Thank you, Jamie. I really wished politicians could start a change to that effect. I am glad you like the image 🙂 It was fun standing in the water, having it swirling around me.

  • Amanda Jo

    Wow, I never realized that the US was so darn stingy on days in comparison to the rest of the world!
    That map is so very cool–and you’ve really done some traveling! I’d love to get all around Europe someday 🙂

    • Claudia Willison

      Thanks a lot, Amanda. Jo I realize the map needs work, but I’ really hope, I’ll get around to improving it. Yeah, I know it kind of looks like I have done a lot of traveling, but really, what I see are a lot of white spots on the map that I still need to visit. I am glad I could give you some info on the vacation days.

  • Splendid Little Stars

    I totally agree with you about vacation days.
    The google map is a very cool thing.

    • Claudia Willison

      Thanks for the visit SLS! I agree that the map is cool, but it needs work…

  • elizabeth england

    Hi Claudia — vacation is so important to shake up our brains and see, do, smell new – or just different things. In the U.S. even when people do take vacation, they work via their cellphones or computers. My theory? We define ourselves by our work and so it’s frightening not to be immersed in what defines us. Am wondering if that’s happening in other countries? Love your blog! E.

    • Claudia Willison

      Thanks for stopping by, Elizabeth! I just wished there were a lot (!) more and more influential people of our opinion. Maybe with time…
      I guess you are right about defining ourselves through work and thus the cellphones and laptops. Hm, in that respect I am somewhat guilty, too. However, when I use them during my vacation I decide for how much, plus most of the time it is fun. In my previous life as a manager, I trained my team to be o.k. for some time without me and to only call me when it was a ‘real’ emergency. But I know of a lot of managers who think they are irreplaceable and just cannot do without at least one business phone call per day – sick, in in my opinion. So, to answer your question, yes, it is happening in various degrees, cultural differences?, in other countries, too.

  • Jenny Matlock

    I once had a job preparing HR type guidelines for an international company.

    I was surprised at the difference in days offered in various countries!

    You have really made your time off count!

    I’m impressed with all those marks on the map!

    And I know you’ve really ‘experienced’ those places judging by the loVely posts you share!

    Thanks for sharing this one, too.


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