Leave Of Happiness

When I first tell people that I’m on a ‘career break’, there’s sort of an awkward silence. Followed by me saying something like this:

  • “Well, it’s kind of like maternity leave, except I didn’t have a baby”
  • “Yes, everything’s great at work. I’m just taking some time off.”
  • “Want to see my dogs?”

Okay that last one gets them even more confused. Whose taking care of your dogs? Why isn’t your guy here with you? Aren’t you – gasp – bored?

Nope – boredom is definitely not in the picture.

Another reality? Travel only brings out the personality traits that you already have back home.

TRUTH BOMB! It took about two years to prepare my business to be ‘more independent’. We’re talking, automation, delegation, and setting up empowered systems to help potential customers get the answers they need without me. I don’t recommend jumping ship on your business without careful planning and thought! 

A Career Break Won’t Change You

If you’re naturally somewhat of the independent type who really doesn’t go around town making new friends with travellers, you’re not going to be like that on your career break either.

Sure, you’ll meet people here and there, but sometimes you’ll go for literally days speaking with nobody but the hotel staff.

For me, that’s bliss. I’ve spent my whole life with chatter, and although I don’t think I could ever do a meditation retreat, being alone for a while truly is energising. Some people would hate that. Actually, maybe most would! 


TRAVEL POSTS FROM MY TRIP


Finding Your People

Career breaks don’t have to involve travel. You might find yourself hanging at home, improving your relationship with your dogs (aww puppies!!!!) and hiring a personal trainer for daily workouts. That sounds great!

Many of our guests at Whistler Fitness Vacations are on a career break. They often start off at home, and then crave more social interaction, or structure in their day. WFV is great for that, because most of our social connections are pretty busy with their own lives, going to work and stuff.

Finding time to catch up with the people in my life again through FaceTime and Skype has been one of the best parts about my trip.

My Teenage Business…

People think that being able to work from anywhere is great, but I’ve outgrown it. As a child, I played music, painted, learnt languages and had hobbies. Like most mothers, as soon as I had my business baby all of this – well – stopped.

Like one beautiful customer said – “Cat, your baby is 17! That’s a teenager! Almost ready to leave home!”

And they were right. My business is no longer my baby! 🙂


PEOPLE ARE READING


Not Being A Digital Nomad (Anymore)

Since entering adulthood, much of my potential hobby time has been spent firing off another quick email, crafting social media content… or getting lost in a vortex of internet.

To know me is to know that I’ve got an insatiable curiosity for global adventures. I’ve bounced in-and-out of my favourite 40 countries since I was old enough to get a drivers license, becoming a digital nomad long before it was on trend. We’re talking conference calls from beautiful beaches, client consultations from tuk tuks (while dodging elephant parades down Indian backstreets)…asking for wifi codes in the middle of the ocean.

Felt blessed to be able to do so, and built a great business because of it. Yet with google for every thought that pops into our head, and Wifi everywhere we want it to be, it’s never been harder to actually take a BREAK.

We need breaks now, more than ever – and it’s up to us to set boundaries with how much we’re willing to work while away from the physical office. Mobile offices can be just as exhausting (emotionally) and it’s a real thing to return from a remote beach in Tahiti more stressed and worn out than ever.

My key advice to anyone thinking of taking a career break? It’s worth it, it’s needed, it’s fabulous. But plan everything really, really well. Know that this can take years. Go for a break that’s actually a break (being a digital nomad is not a break).  

Cat Smiley
Author

Cat Smiley has been named Canada’s top trainer 3 times by the International Sports Science Association. She is a certified Master Trainer of Fitness Sciences (ISSA), Life Coach, Nutritionist, Executive Business Coach and the owner of Whistler Fitness Vacations. Prior to that, she spent 10 years building her personal training and boot camp company - while also working as a professional athlete and nationally syndicated health columnist. She inevitably hit burnout and learnt a ton of lessons along the way. CatSmiley.com is a mash-up of all the things she did to keep her passion for fitness training alive, almost 20 years later. - Find my site helpful? Please mention Whistler Fitness Vacations to your personal training clients if they ask you about fitness retreats! It really helps (and I really appreciate it!)