I just got back from much needed vacation to San Diego. This is one of my favorite places in the world (despite not having seen all of the world). I love the beach and the laid back So-Cal vibe, but most of all, it is a food and beverage Mecca. Tons of the top craft beer companies are out of SD. Their craft coffee game isn’t quite up to the same level, but it is leaps and bounds above Phoenix. The food is bonkers too. It is fresh and thoughtfully put together in well thought out spaces. This place has it all for me.
After returning, I was invigorated and inspired and realized there are some major benefits to going on vacation. Here are my top 3.
The first and most obvious of reasons is to reset your brain. Some insight about me is that I’m a manager. I require my world to be in order and when it is not orderly, I begin to manage everything until it is back in order. With a family of 4, I’ll let you guess how often everything is orderly. This is where I benefit from having a wife who’s a planner. We plan everything out way ahead of time. That way when we show up, all we have to do is execute the plan. This allows me to not have to manage everything, or at least to the point that I can decompress. I’ve learned that it takes me two full days before I can completely relax. Once I have achieved that, my brain, body and spirit just kind of reboot.
The second reason is to go on vacation is to gain new experiences. Life teaches us stuff in crazy ways. You could be zip lining and have an epiphany about your budget crisis at work. Experiences are profound and effect us on multiple layers. You think you are just trying a new restaurant, but really you are learning about yourself, your partner, your life, your happiness, your soul, and everything else. Also, it’s good to get outside your sphere of influence. All industries will eventually normalize and become very similar through competition. I call it the Saturn Ring effect. All those little bits of rock and ice bump into each other enough that they are now in a perfectly straight line. Look at the UFC for another example. It use to be Jujitsu vs Karate, but over the years they have learned from each other so much that they all basically have the same style now. In order to do something new and fresh, you have to go somewhere and try something new. I experienced beer in San Diego unlike anywhere here in Az. Would I bring back everything they are doing and try to replicate it here? No, it wouldn’t work here. But, I did learn some lessons on how your space invites and dissuades people from entering. For example, if you don’t want families to join in at your establishment, because you are catering to the adult only crowd, just don’t install any low top tables. A family with small children can’t sit at high tops, so you can basically push the crying kids away without having to tell them they are unwanted. This is something I ran into a lot at San Diego and something I will have to consider when we create our space.
The last and greatest reason for taking a vacation is the culmination of the previous two. Getting refreshed and revitalized while being filled with inspiration and new ideas allows you to go after your goals with a renewed vigor. That could be pursuing a promotion at work, or trying to start the best damn beverage shop in the Valley (that’s what we’re trying to do in case that was to subtle), or being a stay at home mom, whatever. When I stopped and looked at all the shops I went into in San Diego, I was intimidated. They are all million dollar build outs, or so creative that you think they’re million dollar spaces. This made me realize how much we need to step up our game. It made me think about our space, how we want to treat our customers, how does our message translate to the market, are we pricing correctly, and a hundred other questions. If I hadn’t gotten out of my personal or professional bubble, I would not have all of these challenges driving me forward.
Those are the main reasons why I like to go on vacation. If you have any, please share them. In case you are not following us on Instagram or Facebook, I chronicled my journey there.