Team MJ on Travel is about to embark on a pretty big vacation journey. There’s Paris, Barcelona, and a 12-night cruise. Overall, I will be away for almost 3 weeks. That’s 3 work weeks. That’s 3 work weeks that have been planned for nearly 18 months, but now that the time is here, the timing is not remarkably convenient. But that’s not going to stop me from embarking on our trip.

This isn’t my first time in Europe….it may be my 25th time in Europe…I’ve lost count, but admittedly, most of my prior trips have been for work, not play. What’s the big deal? There is no big deal for me, it’s the constant remarks from a select cadre of coworkers. “I just realized you’re going to be gone for 3 weeks!” “You’re going to be gone for 3 weeks….WOW!” “Who takes 3 weeks off?!” I’m quick to remind that: 1) it’s 2.9 weeks, technically speaking; 2) taking this much time off is not something I do very often; and 3) I will be available via email and mobile phone. But none of this is my point.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Why do Americans perceive time off so differently than the rest of the world? If I lived in most any other country, the response would be you’re only taking a 3 2.9 week vacation? Connected while I’m away or not, I’ll take some time to soak in Paris, a city I love, but have not visited in years, free of electronic interruption. Same for Barcelona, and of course the cruise.

Unlike my quick summer getaway in August, I plan to blog this trip. There’s Biz class to Paris on the upper deck of a 747 with miles, wandering Paris, Barcelona, and of course, 12 days of cruising. There’ll be plenty to share. It never was just about the miles for me…it’s about the journey. And this is a journey I am looking forward to.

-MJ, October 13, 2015