Take Those Vacation Days - 4 Cities I Love and You Will Too
Updated: May 11
More than 4 in 10 workers do not take paid time off. Don't leave vacation days unspent!
A shocking 46% of workers that earn paid time off take less time than offered, according to an updated Pew Research study conducted in February 2023. The most common reasons given were they don't feel the need to take more time off (52%), worry they might fall behind at work (49%), and feel bad about coworkers taking on more work (43%).
Don't be one of those workers that give up paid time off! Taking a vacation has many benefits that increase your productivity: reducing stress, enhancing creativity, and improving job satisfaction. You should be required to take time off, in my opinion.
I am a huge believer in vacations! In a few weeks, I will be going on my second holiday this year, and plan a third for July. I've been to several countries over the years, and these four cities stand out as excellent destinations that I hope to visit again someday.
After three days there, I declared Sydney the most beautiful city in the world. Starting every day in the City Centre with a view of the iconic Opera House and the Harbour Bridge was thrilling. We visited the historic Rocks, the Taronga Zoo, and Darling Harbour, all via the efficient ferry system. Sydney is home to many cultural attractions, including museums, galleries, and theaters. The beaches are beautiful, and the city is also famous for its vibrant food and drink scene.
(My trip in 2003 - across the harbor from the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge; gum tree at the Royal Botanical Garden; koala encounter at Taronga Zoo - all author photos)
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, is a picturesque city with a rich history and stunning architecture. Its old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is famous for its colorful baroque buildings, cobblestone streets, and landmarks such as the Charles Bridge and the Astronomical Clock. History is everywhere - there are commemorative plaques for Jewish victims of the Holocaust installed on the cobblestones. We happened upon an outdoor exhibit marking the fall of the Iron Curtain that was very moving. Our grandmother was born in Bohemia, a region that is within the Czech borders.
(My trip in 2019 - the monument to Charles IV; view from a cruise on the Vltava River; the Astronomical Clock attached to the Old Town Hall - all author photos)
Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is a vibrant city located in the western part of North Carolina, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The city is known for its eclectic culture, music scene, and arts community. We explored the historic Biltmore Estate, built by the Vanderbilt family in the late 19th century, Plan to stay the entire day to tour the mansion, see the gardens, visit the special exhibit (Van Gogh for us, now it's Da Vinci), enjoy a wine-tasting, then have dinner. Downtown Asheville is renowned for its Art Deco architecture. If you have another day, take a waterfall tour and look for one of the famous white squirrels!
(From our waterfalls tour; on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate; downtown Asheville - all author photos)
Lerwick. Shetland Islands
Lerwick is the largest town in the Shetland Islands, a remote archipelago off the coast of Scotland. The town is situated on the east coast of the Shetland Mainland and is known for its charming old town with narrow streets and historic architecture. My day there started with a visit to a local yarn store, with the bonus of seeing the freshly-shorn fleece. As a knitter, I couldn't wait to purchase yarn from Shetland sheep. Once you are in Lerwick, it doesn't take long to head out to the shore to find nesting puffins.
(I purchased the yarn to knit this traditional shawl; a Viking longboat, part of the Shetland heritage; a puffin along the coast - all author photos)
St. Louis, Missouri, and Ferdinand, Indiana, will be getting their own posts soon. I had included them originally, but there's too much to include here with these four destinations.
Disclaimer - All pictures were taken by me, and I received no compensation from the four cities or any destination mentioned.
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