Vacation season is wrapping up, but this year’s most coveted holiday may not be what you’d expect. One of the most talked-about celebrity destinations of the summer wasn’t Saint Barts or Ibiza but Google’s “summer camp” conference, where elites discussed climate change and other pressing social issues. Meanwhile, tech leaders such as Twitter’s Jack Dorsey are spending their precious days off at silent meditation retreats, and Mount Everest is overflowing with inexperienced climbers checking the harrowing journey off their bucket lists. Even the average worker is exhorted to make sure their vacation is productive and returns them to work refreshed and inspired.
While a life of leisure used to be a marker of wealth (and still is in many places), for American elites a week spent lounging on the beach isn’t as impressive as it once was. We’ve become a nation obsessed with productivity, and that fixation has spilled over from our work lives to our leisure. There is growing pressure to spend our free time improving ourselves or the world around us, whether it’s training for a triathlon, volunteering in a developing country, or climbing the highest peak on each continent (known as the “seven summits” challenge).
Why is it so hard for Americans to relax unless we feel we’ll have something productive to show for it?
Read the full article at Fast Company.