Just moments before flying to Mexico City, I was told "life rewards you when you think in terms of 'and' and punishes you when you think in terms of 'either, or.'" I don't know if that's true, but I liked the sound of it.
Throughout my adult life, I've wrestled with the idea of "and" - trying to find some balance between work AND play, having a demanding career AND exploring the world. Truth be told, "either, or" doesn't work for me, and I'm too impatient to wait for retirement.
Having a demanding career means I sacrifice vacation days. I have almost no true, blackberry-free vacation days, and compared to more flexible work environments, very few days that I can be away from the office at all. The solution: exploit existing holidays. When everyone else is working, they generally expect that you are as well, but when they are away from the office for the holidays, there's a bit more flexibility to travel. Thanksgiving weekend, for example, is one of my favorite times to travel.
After spending the day with my family and still full from a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, I rushed to JFK to catch a midnight flight to Mexico City. I arrived before dawn at Condesa DF, my home for the long weekend.
I spent the next three days exploring enormous Mexico City and its art - Museo Soumaya, Museo Jumex and Casa Azul, Frida Kahlo's home where I hoped to absorb genius by osmosis. I strolled its parks, toured its castles, ate its cotton candy. I had wonderful meals, particularly at Contramar, where I stuffed myself full of fish tacos and sangria.
And after three wonderful days in Mexico City, I was back in New York and at my desk on Monday morning, well rested and ready to work.