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22 DAYS.

Dayka Robinson Pont des Arts bridge Paris Sept 2015-CROP

22.

Alone that number doesn’t mean much but in context, it represents a huge milestone in my life, because it’s the amount of vacation days I took this year. 

Yup. Twenty. Two. Days. Of. Vacation. (shut up!!!!)

And I’m talking for real vacation, not that stay at home thing. That’s basically a whole month of vacation, doing, living & moving as I want to. And it may not seem like a big deal to you but here’s what it means to me: that the girl who graduated college not knowing what she wanted to do, bounced around from job to job, decided to follow a curiosity for which there really wasn’t a path, built her own business while often feeling around in the dark, hit some personal speed bumps, and questioned whether she was doing the right thing but kept showing up–on her own terms–anyhow, can create a life where she gets 22 days of vacation in one year, then I’m pretty sure that you can do it too. I promise we’re not that different.

So in the spirit of honesty, I looked back at my 2015 post written as my 2016 self and you’ll see that I specifically said I was doing more traveling AND going on more vacations this year so it’s not like I didn’t claim it. But even then, I didn’t really believe that it was possible like this, for me. Sure everyone talks about taking “real vacations” and where they would go if they could but the reality is, we Americans tend to use our vacation days for things like handling important personal business, sick days or intermittent 3-day weekends. Not for taking care of self. As the year started progressing and Istanbul became a possibility, I said over & over that I wanted to spend more time traveling and once I did, it seemed like everywhere I looked I was being shown how possible it was. I started receiving newsletters with flight deals and following sites like Travel Noire that ramped up my desire. You’ve already read the story but my ticket to Istanbul? I found that deal in the wee hours of the morning after checking one of those sites on a whim. Next thing you know, I was across the world having the time of my life for a fraction of what it could’ve cost me with a group. BAM.

But let me not make this post about the deals. What I want to share (and celebrate) is this milestone of mine in the context of what it means to be an entrepreneur, self-employed, and to have the luxury of almost one month of vacation. There were times in these past 5 years when I didn’t know how I would make it financially. When I wasn’t sure what I was doing in my business. When my house seemed more like an albatross around my neck than my perfect refuge from the world. When I was all panicky like, “OMG, am I ever gonna go on vacation again??”. And then all of the sudden I look up and here’s 2015, dangling weeks of vacation in my face like “Heyyyyy girl, c’mon…”. And you know what? These vacation days were actually work days for me (stay with me here). Not in the rolling-my-eyes-cause-I-don’t-wanna-do-this kinda work but the who-I-am-and-what-I-do-are-so-in-alignment-that-work-is-my-life way. Traveling has given me content (substance). It’s allowed me to not only connect with fellow travelers & people I met along my journey, but to connect with my tribe (that’s YOU) in a deeper way. To expand my life and encourage you to expand yours, too. And that’s really the work I want to be doing.

Pardon my brag moment but I’m pretty damn proud of this!! It’s a reminder that when all of the ups & downs are weighed, I’ve had a better life taking a chance on me than I ever had as a 9-5 employee. There are new dreams on the horizon now + new fires burning and it helps to be reminded that I’ve already done so much more on my own than I ever did chained to a standard office job. And you know what else? The things I most desire are truly desiring me–just not in the way or time that I think they should. I wrote that post in January and effectively forgot about it after the first quarter. But that international vacation & those passport stamps I mentioned? They were hunting me down even in my “forgetfulness”. 

So I think I’ve got the hang of this thing now.

Next year I’m claiming more than double which may sound crazy to you but….watch it happen.

22 days in 2015. I’m geeked. 

6 Comments on 22 DAYS.

  1. KANDIA JOHNSON
    December 28, 2015 at 9:11 am (1 year ago)

    Your story blessed me today! Happy holidays honey!

    Reply
    • DaykaRobinson
      December 28, 2015 at 9:16 am (1 year ago)

      Thanks, love–you too!

      Xo

      Reply
  2. CC
    December 28, 2015 at 3:32 pm (1 year ago)

    Exactly what i needed to read, right this minute. Keep it up, inspiration soldier!

    Reply
    • DaykaRobinson
      December 29, 2015 at 12:25 pm (1 year ago)

      CC:

      I love you. And I love “inspiration soldier”, too.

      Xo,
      D

      Reply
  3. Yolanda
    December 31, 2015 at 12:28 am (1 year ago)

    This was an awesome read Dayka! The place you are now, is where I hope to be in 2016. Travel (the meaningful kind you speak of here) has been in my dreams for some many years and I just want to see it happen. I can so relate to the challenges you mentioned but I’m inspired and encouraged by your post to continue to dare to dream big!

    Reply
    • DaykaRobinson
      January 6, 2016 at 5:46 pm (1 year ago)

      Yolanda:

      NEVER stop dreaming. But most importantly, act. Plan. Research where you’d like to go, what you’d like to do. I have some friends who caught a glitch fare to Abu Dhabi 2 years ago for $136 ROUNDTRIP (!!!) so don’t think it can’t happen!! Once you go it will light a fire under you and your life will shift to make more room for all the travel you desire. I have some cool trips planned this year–ones that I never would’ve imagined this time last year–all because I took that first leap. Please keep me in the loop (or tag me on IG) when you go, I’d love to hear about your experience.

      Xo,
      D

      Reply

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