I had a pretty standard nine to five kind of life until I moved to San Francisco. Yeah, this was my third time I went to live in another country for a job, but it's still just a job. You wake up, get your coffee, drive to a fancy office building and do enough work not to get fired. Chances are you are right here in life, or felt this way before. Okay, it's super exciting to work and live in San Francisco, the sheer excitement of Silicon Valley was worth it. You can cylcle through the Golden Gate any time you please, and enjoy a Giants game for cheap as I lived walking distance from the stadium.
I had a colleague, Robbie from the UK - where I also spent 4 years before moving to the US - who has been transferred to sunny California, and had a smile every Monday morning he came in to the office. In fact, he always had a smile on his face! As we had a chat over coffee, he explained how he and his family treats this work away from home situation:
"Think of it as a working vacation. You do the same job you did in rainy London, except after work you are on vacation, and you can get to a sunny beach in 20 minutes." He and his family treated this first year in San Francisco as a long long vacation, they explored California as much as they could, did something new every weekend, while they were living their lives. Kids went to school, Robbie came to the office, and his wife got a job too.
This chat with Robbie was a major "Ah Ha" moment for me. The office was no longer gloomy and boring, as I knew my extended vacation awaits me as soon as I am done for today. I was driving home with a smile, enjoying the crazy traffic jams of the 101 highway, knowing this is not really my life, I can leave any time. This is my Working Vacation!