I recently returned from a two week vacation with my wife to the Pacific Northwest region. It’s an area she has longed to go to for years, having felt the pull of dense evergreen forests, misty beaches and snowy peaks redolent of that area. Our trip was packed with many fun activities and stunning sights, and it was wonderful to spend a lot of one on one time with my wife. What I wasn’t as prepared for was the strong urge building in me over the course of our trip to get back to work. And it wasn’t a worry of paperwork piling up on my desk – it was a genuine desire to return to my life, and my calling. I am fortunate to be doing the work now that I have wanted to do for a long time. I am helping people not only overcome the disease of addiction, but to discover what it is they truly want to do in this life – and then arm themselves with the skills and mindset to achieve it. My time away from my day-to-day gave me a greater appreciation for the honor I have of serving people, and how blessed I am to be living my best life.

Being away also gives us time to reflect and reveal deeper insights. I found my horizons opening up both literally and figuratively when I stared out at a vista after a rigorous hike. At home I am often caught up in the duties of the day, but out there, in the wide wilderness… my imagination took flight. I found myself jotting down harried notes of my new ideas; enthusiastically sharing my vision with my wife. And that fed the desire in me to take action on them when we returned home.

That time to reflect was one of the greatest gifts of my trip. The surge of excitement I feel being back home, back to work and implementing ideas that percolated in the space and stillness of a vacation is incredible. And that is why time away is so important. It gives us an opportunity to connect with the truest, deepest part of ourselves, and to receive the wisdom waiting there. I remember reading a quote about how if you build a life you want, you won’t have to escape it with vacation. I know what this quote means to convey, and I agree that working towards a vision of our life that we find rewarding without escapism is crucial. But I also know that being away from our normal routine sometimes is so good for our health, our happiness, our growth.

So even if you are not in a position to take a long trip, don’t worry – I didn’t take a vacation for five years! You can create smaller spaces and moments of opportunity for newness, for reflection, for wisdom. It’s about gaining perspective- and all of it resonates with my message of the importance of time away.