Foreword from your Head F&N Babe-in-Charge Tiff: Each week, we're introducing a new friend with a new story. A story about something that'll make you root for the author reading through her (or his!) ups and downs. A story that will inspire you to chase your own dreams and maybe pursue other paths you may have not considered before. A story that will show you never-before-seen vulnerabilities and suck you in. Every story is different but one thing remains the same. Each person is pushing forward ever-onward, giving 110% to living the best life possible. (Disclaimer: they are not ALL stories, but possibly life experiences too etc.)
This week's guest blogger is one of our besties, Mary Lauren Wilson, lover of vacation time, Saints football and happy hour. We've been friends for going on six years now and ML has been there since the age of Cubeland (when we were both interns in Jackson, MS). I remember way back when we would literally sit on the floor of the back office and literally talk about where we were already going to get lunch at, at 8:01AM (I promise we did work, we were just more efficient with our time). She's the kind of person who is destined to travel to all ends of the world and never let a simple thing like her job (lol) get in the way!
Sometimes we just need a little reminder that life is not about "living to work", but more "working to live" and actually LIVE a LIFE. Life is not meant to be spent at a desk. Life is meant to be experienced. Even going one hour north or being a tourist in your own city, you can learn so much more about yourself from a new perspective or scenery.
Mary Lauren is an adventurer and we should all strive to add a little more travel and excitement into our lives this new year. Doesn't that sound fun?
Read along to get a refresher on why travel should be one of your New Year's Goals -Tiffany
(Snowball stops in Nola to beach trips in Alabama)
F&N Babe Mary Lauren: “Millennials ruin everything”…. Older generations love tossing around that phrase!
I am usually not super offended by the comments to follow (ex. Shopping malls, marriage, the diamond industry, paper napkins). I don’t feel that shocked when we are blamed for those, they were on the way out of the door anywho. But one thing we have ruined that truly saddens me is vacation days.
So congrats Millennial! You went to college, had fun and worked hard to get a degree. You slugged through job boards and sent out resumes like your life depended on it. You sat through interviews with awkward HR managers, but finally found a job that was right up your ally! It checks all of the boxes: enjoyable co-workers, solid future in the company, continuing education opportunities, etc. annndddd benefits! 401k, health insurance, vision and dental insurance and paid vacation…. Let’s say that again - PAID VACATION.
According to a study by GlassDoor, only 23% of workers surveyed used all of their paid vacation time in the last 12 months. I am one of those. I have used every last one of my vacation days for 2017. I also used all of my vacation days in 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. Five years in a row baby!
Travel and Leisure Magazine suggests that we don’t use our time off because of a phenomenon recently dubbed “vacation shaming”. Millennials are more likely to feel guilty, afraid or shameful when requesting vacation days. You don’t have to be a work martyr! Vacation days are an employee benefit for a reason!My vacation days are sacred. I treat them like special little pets. I plan them out very strategically to get the most out of them. I use a few for long weekend trips with friends to the beach. I usually use one big chunk at a time once a year to really hit the reset button. It is amazing how therapeutic it can be to really step back for a week and forget about all of your responsibilities and enjoy time with folks that you love!
My Vacation-Self is my best self!
Since joining the work force, I have taken countless long weekend trips with friends, seen music in some of the most beautiful locations, relaxed on Caribbean beaches and experienced world class food and wine in California. I have experienced the kindness of strangers, been in complete awe of nature and had the privilege of learning about other cultures first hand. These things have been a catalyst for my evolution as a friend, daughter, girlfriend, citizen of the world and yes, even as an employee.
Get out there, dear Millennial! Use those precious vacation days for self-improvement and exploration! I know I will! Euro-trip anyone?!
To follow along with Mary Lauren's adventures: @mary_laurenw
Or just comment where you're going this year! We'd love to hear about your FN Travels below.