Reading: Taking an Unplanned Vacation

On Twitter, I found this post that really hit home:

I realize, I have not allowed myself to take any “unplanned vacations” recently.

It jogged a memory.  January 2007.  In a site visit that I did for one of my audit clients in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania,  I started work at 7, and finished my tasks at about 4PM.  My hotel was in Gettysburg, so I figured I had some time to spare before sunset, and I felt I should explore.

Being new to the place, I decided to just drive around Gettysburg – the town and the battlefield.

By myself.

With my HP IPaq 6515 phone with built-in but very faulty GPS navigation, which I just pointed back to the hotel as I drove further.  Funny and annoying how it was constantly saying “recalculating”, “make a U-Turn” or “Proceed to the nearest road”.  Unfortunately,  I couldn’t turn it off for fear of losing the GPS signal.

I really knew nothing of the place.  I’ve only heard of Gettysburg in the famous Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln, which we were made to memorize in High School.

Driving around the battlefield, it was so quiet.  There were not a lot of people because of the chilly Pennsylvania air (I did mention it was January).  The museums were already closed.

I explored the monuments and memorials.  I climbed the Observation Tower and got a good view of the field and the sunset.  I did manage to take some pictures until it got dark.

See a few photos that I was able to salvage from my backups (the hard drive where I originally stored these crashed):

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Anyhow, this “trip” happened in the course of a couple of hours (definitely a much smaller scale compared to the article referenced above).

But it was unplanned.  And I very much enjoyed it.  While it was technically a work day, I had a mini-vacation.

Got me to thinking – I should force myself do this more often.  I should aim to cover more of my the map I blogged in the past.  Not get lost in the busyness of work and the humdrum of daily routines.

Then in my head, I start planning trip logistics.

Old habits die hard. (sigh!)

More info on visiting Gettysburg –

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