Was it really only a month ago that I was lounging by the Aegean? Piggybacking on a conference in Istanbul, my work wife and I decided to spend a few days in Bodrum, Turkey. Simply put, I think it was the most relaxing vacation of my life.

Now, I’ve taken vacations where I’ve seen and experienced a lot and have  enjoyed them. But each day in Bodrum consisted of having a late breakfast, taking a dip in the sea, reading, eating, and napping. Lather, rinse, repeat.

For once I got the concept of vacation as part of a wellness routine. Instead of constantly running around and snapping pictures of things, vacations can be about stillness, listening to the wind and waves, and enjoying the company of friends.

I was thrilled that the New York Times today featured an article that comes to similar conclusions:

‎”…people are happier when they spend money on experiences instead of material objects, when they relish what they plan to buy long before they buy it, and when they stop trying to outdo the Joneses.”

And:

“‘It’s better to go on a vacation than buy a new couch’ is basically the idea,” says Professor Dunn, summing up research by two fellow psychologists….

It isn’t even about going to exotic locales. The article also talks about staycations and taking classes just for fun. At the heart of the matter, I find, is living (and vacationing) mindfully. It’s about taking the time to live into what truly makes you happy, not just buying a new gadget or bigger car. What do the Joneses know anyway?

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