Ahhhh the joys of summer! Cook outs, cocktails, and the Caribbean are a few things that many of us look forward to during this time of the year. As we hustle to meet the demands of career, and balance family and relationships, it is important that we find time to recharge.
BE Modern Man had the opportunity to catch up with Caribbean Soul Trekkers, a platform that shares the experiences of Caribbean travel, while embracing the local customs, community, and similarities of culture and heritage. The good people at Caribbean Soul Trekkers were able to provide Black Enterprise.com with tips and how-to’s for experiencing the Caribbean, and give reasons for why it is important to take a “true” vacation.
BE: How can taking a true vacation from work and career be more productive in the long run?
CST: Life is about living. As much as we Americans hate to admit it, there is more to life than just work. Time away from it helps us nurture ourselves, reset our priorities, reconnect with our loved ones, and pursue interests that build character and happy memories. We feel a greater sense of well-being and are happier as employees. But more than this, time away from job related stress disrupts mental fatigue and gives our brains the chance to recharge. As a result, we have more energy, are more creative, and more focused. We achieve the best mental state to work productively.
BE: The Caribbean is one of the most vacationed areas in the world. What tips do you have for those looking to make this their next vacation destination?
CST: The Caribbean has such a vast assortment of experiences to offer, choosing the best island for your next get away can easily become a daunting task.
Here is what we recommend. First, set a budget and time frame. Some islands are better enjoyed with an unlimited budget over four days, while others can be enjoyed over a week at a reasonable budget. Be honest about what you’re working with.
Second, consider what type of vacation you have in mind; active, laid-back, or something in between. Ending up on a ‘sleepy island’ when you really wanted a destination with lots of energy where you can party non-stop can make the difference between the vacation of a lifetime, or the one you wish you could forget. Heading to an island with a faster pace may compel you to wear yourself out and return home more fatigued than when you left.
Next, consider what activities are on your ‘must do’ list. World class diving? Four-star restaurants? Adrenaline-fueled zip lining? Encounters with stingrays? High-end shopping? Let your imagination run wild; it’s your vacation, after all.
BE: How can vacationers do some networking while enjoying their vacation downtime?
CST: Although we encourage everyone to disconnect from work while on vacation, we have to admit that Caribbean escapes certainly do lend themselves to networking opportunities. There’s something about being out of your element, relaxed, and without distractions in a tropical paradise that fosters conversations with strangers.
To maximize your chances of successfully networking while on vacation, recognize that every setting is a potential opportunity to make contacts. Whether at the golf course, pool, beach shack, buffet, gym, or resort activities, take the initiative to be friendly and strike up a conversation with your neighbors. A script isn’t necessary—it’s fine to let the conversation flow and see where it leads. The key is to be genuine and interested in getting to know others, while also revealing some things about yourself, including professional or self-development goals.
Some of our best networking opportunities have materialized at a beach shack in Anguilla. Over rum punch and grilled Caribbean lobster, we’ve formed countless contacts with entrepreneurs, travel writers, and every day people that, in one way or another, have helped us to become more successful in our endeavors.
BE: What are the benefits of taking time away from work to recharge?
CST: Studies show that employees who take time away from work are not only more productive; they are healthier, more focused, and more satisfied with their jobs. When they return to work, their batteries are recharged. They are better workers who are far less likely to burn out.
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @blackenterprise and join the BE Modern Man conversation using #BEModernMan