Out Of Office Reply
I am historically bad at vacations.

It used to be because I preferred “traveling” to “vacationing,” a pretentious distinction that backed me into a corner without umbrella drinks and light reads. (Dumb.) Then I got a job at a magazine and traveled a lot, so work felt enough like vacation that I opted not to take real ones. (Dumber.) More recently, I’m wondering if I’m bad at it simply because I’m American. (Hmm...)

The US is the only developed nation in the world that doesn’t mandate that businesses offer their employees paid vacation. Sigh. So, this summer, while watching my Scandinavian colleagues escape to always-sunny lakes and cabins, leaving Slack channels feeling like a digital ghost town, I decided to lean into leisure and take a week off.

I went to California’s Central Valley and surfed a wave pool, then retreated to the Sierras where I threw my laptop into the depths of my The Nær Duffel (40L, black) and didn’t look at it for seven days. Instead, I hiked. Swam in alpine lakes. Mini golfed. Macro golfed. Read. Did puzzles. Drank beer at lunch and ate watermelon. I tipped the scales toward work-life balance and it felt wonderful.

That’s why I didn’t write to you last week. I was offline, on holiday. And because I work for a Norwegian company, I don’t even need to feel guilty about it.