Have you ever taken a vacation and thought, “I need to take a vacation to recover from my vacation?” For the small business owner taking a vacation can be stressful. The pre-planning and working your butt off ahead of time makes taking the step away from work possible. Then the constant attending to emails, keeping a social media presence, and checking in with the office during the vacation makes you go crazy. Sometimes it just isn’t worth it!

When my boyfriend asked me to join him in Switzerland for 10 days (and unable to shoot for 13 days) I had a freak out moment…until I realized I had not taken that much time away from my business in 24 years and a vacation was long overdue. So I went, and was determined to mentally check out and truly enjoy my first adventure overseas

Going to Europe had been my lifelong dream and I didn’t want to waste this opportunity. I did everything a small business owner does to prepare to be away; emailing clients who had pending bids, getting all the book keeping done and I set one big boundary for myself: no work while I was gone.

As a commercial artist much of what I do is to fulfill the vision of others. I take a layout, an idea, or a concept and bring it to life. I know my architect, interior design, and art director friends totally understand what I’m talking about. Sometimes my vision takes a back seat to what the client wants. For me, customer service is never dead and making the client happy is my number one priority. That “commercial” side of the business can sometimes take over unless you take time to re-charge and rejuvenate.

So you can imagine my surprise when the train left the airport in Zurich; I was face to face with a dream come true, and the first thing I was compelled to do was pick up a camera…

Within 24 hours my one rule was broken because I couldn’t help but take and post pictures to social media or email them back to Tena. As I stepped into a 1300s cathedral, I literally cried at its splendor, and continued to stand in awe with each new site, town, and (believe it or not) plate of food! The camera nearly became an extension of me because I could see the light, angle, and boundaries of each image in my head.

You see, I love what I do. I embrace the beauty of each buildings design, it’s construction, it’s decor. When I photograph a beautiful plate of food it speaks to me. To be in the midst of so many historic and magnificent buildings and plate presentations of two Michelin Star rated restaurants rejuvenated my spirit and filled my heart of gratitude for this experience. I couldn’t help myself!

So to all my small business owners: take the vacation with the hopes of shutting it down for a while. But be prepared: instead of shutting down, getting away, you may find yourself face to face with the inspiration you needed to set your soul on fire and get back to your craft with laser-like vision.

Let’s just say I won’t let 24 more years go before my next extended vacation…