Sunday, January 27, 2013

WakeUp 99 - there's a lot to see…

Did you know that there are about 190 to 210 countries in the world? I'm not quoting an exact number because some countries are under dispute and not recognized by all countries as being a country! North Korea doesn't recognize South Korea and South Korea doesn't recognize North Korea.

Leaving aside the minor difference, that's about 200 countries out there - so many cultures, sights, sounds and experiences out there. We are so caught up in our day to day work that we hardly think of stepping outside our locations of comfort. When kids, we don't have the money to spend. But once we start working, we are so worried about accumulating wealth for us, for marriage, for the next generation, marriage of the next generation and providing a king's life for the next ten generations that we forget about ourselves and the time right now.

It's the same with vacations - if vacations can be piled up to be encashed, then many people focus solely on that. And if they can't be piled up to encash, then many people have this guilty feeling about asking for vacations; common reasons cited - "My boss doesn't give vacations, my boss is strict, my boss says that he himself doesn't take vacations so how can I  ask him?" If the focus isn't on the boss, then the usual reasons are, "There is no one else to do my work, only I can do this work, I am in a critical project and can't leave, if I leave then the team will not be able to handle it…"

I sometimes wonder if we think a little too much of ourselves - maybe we get into this illusionary state that without us the world won't move on and without us the office won't move on. But the truth is if not employee number xyz then it's employee number abc! It is understandable if you have to perform a surgery in which you are a specialist and your presence could make the difference between life and death of the patient; but I don't think many of us fall under that category. I do wonder how many of us use the entire allocated vacation time we have every year?

If you are still worried of money, how much money do we really need to accumulate? And wouldn't the next generation be able to take care of themselves?

Relax and step out - there's a lot to see. Explore the world with your loved ones, friends, siblings and family.

We tend to think travel is too expensive; but even Antartica isn't out of reach - a trip to Antartica would cost about $3000 to $4000. The day isn't far off when you'll get to see the Moon and Mars; right now a ticket to space costs about $40 million. But before exploring the universe, do explore Earth!