You've earned a vacation after many months of solid work.
Suppose you're taking a highway trip, and you know you'll have to stop along the way somewhere. What do you choose: the big interstate rest stop, or the small town exit with a good restaurant two miles off the highway?
Robert Frost wrote, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." Unfortunately, today instead of two unpaved roads crossing in a forest, we typically encounter two highways crossing in a concrete jungle.
Such development doesn't mean the world is any less interesting. You can't explore the world "Lewis and Clark style," but you don't need any more stores along your path than they had along theirs to make your journey exciting.
It can be well worth your time to discover a good place off the beaten track where you can stop without confronting all the tantalizing souvenirs at a truck stop or big interstate exit -- the cheaply made bandanas, collectible shot glasses, dressed up stuffed animals, postcards, plastic key rings, gaudy T-shirts, overpriced fireworks -- you know the scene.
Chances are you will also encounter less crowding, better food and an overall better experience. If you proceed with a plan, you're less likely to dawdle on tempting products. Eventually, you can make carrying money the exception rather than the rule! Time things in such a way as to have your wallet with you as little as possible. Bring it only when you have excellent reason for doing so.
As you enjoy brown bag lunches, weekends and visits to friends without your wallet, your anxieties about not carrying it subside. If you find having your wallet would have been helpful, count that cost against the price -- in dollars and frustration -- you've saved by not having it with you all the time. You'll realize you've gotten the better end of the deal.
Society has been on a trend of increasing materialism for decades. As such, many people feel overwhelmed by their accumulation of "stuff." Amazingly, they continue to buy more. In your own life, the solution is to reverse the trend. A major step is to detach from items you no longer need, and to go places without your wallet. Both gestures require a shift in personal priorities.
When you experience the greater space and time you have created for yourself, you'll know, unmistakably, that you've made a good choice.
Jeff Davidson is "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" and the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com