Thoughts on PTO
For the first time in six years I’m not taking a week of vacation in the middle of April. I’m currently sitting on nearly two weeks of paid vacation time, which will grow to over five weeks by the end of this year. So the question I’ve been considering lately is: what do I want to do with my time off this year?
Last year I took a couple weekend trips by car, but otherwise stayed put in Iowa. Ditto for 2009. I haven’t been outside the Midwest since June 2008, I haven’t flown since April 2006 and I haven’t seen the west coast since August 2004.
So where to go? I’d like to see Alex before he leaves Santa Barbara. We’re working on something this summer. I could visit Neeks while I’m out that way but getting ahold of him anymore is nearly impossible.
I’d also like to visit Mia & Scott in Corpus Christi one of these days, most likely after their offspring comes due in June. If I do get down that way, I may as well pay a visit to Blake & Hannah in Baton Rouge.
Aside from Damfest XIII (tentatively scheduled for June 18th) and a couple weddings later in the summer, I have no set plans. Weekends trips to locations within a day’s drive are always an option, though the recent spike in fuel prices makes my wallet cringe.
Given the amount of traveling I’d like to do this summer, I may not have enough free weekends to hit my bicycling goal of 2,000 miles. That’s actually quite fine with me. I’d rather spend quality time with friends and family than eat more bugs on the trails.
Chances are I will spend some, if not a majority, of the year’s paid time off here in CF. There’s nothing like being able to sleep in every day for an entire week, treating myself to a late breakfast or lunch, not having to be anywhere in particular, reading books at a slow leisurely pace, bicycling around the Cedar Valley and taking care of odds & ends. A single day off is nice, but the rejuvenating power of an entire week is exponentially greater. If I can’t get out of the Midwest much this summer I can at least stay home and recharge my batteries.
I’ve flown four times in my life, totaling 17 takeoffs and landings: August 1996 (Cedar Rapids – STL – Miami), January 2004 (Chicago Midway – San Diego, SD – Denver – MDW – CID), July/August 2004 (Omaha – Las Vegas – Portland) and April 2006 (Waterloo – Minneapolis – Detroit – Boston, NYC – MSP – ALO).