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“Getaway fit:” What’s your ultimate break?

On the move, in the moment.
On the move, in the moment. Boise State University

We talk a lot about “culture fit” in hiring new employees or when we join an organization. I’m beginning to wonder if there’s such a thing as “getaway fit.”

If we are deliberate in choosing careers, where to live, or even what people to be around, do we also need to consider what is the best way to recharge? As summer approaches, maybe now is the time to think about this.

I admit I’m not your typical “Idahoan who loves the outdoors.” I don’t backpack, kayak, hunt, fish or mountain bike — or should I say, not yet. But I do love being in nature: the quality of air so clear it hurts my eyes, the cacophony of birds and beetles, animals splashing their way through water, the scent of sage and even dung. I’m lucky that I’ve been able to do this in a faraway place, and now I need more of it closer to home.

We just spent two weeks in southern Africa. It takes about 30 hours to get to Botswana’s Okavango Delta, which is about one quarter the size of Idaho, located along the northern border of Botswana. For me, the delta is a land of geological and biological magic. Created by tectonic shifts 10 million and 15 million years ago, it has become a generally reliable source of water and food for so many African mammals and birds that it takes a 1.5-inch-thick book with five or six descriptions per page to describe the birds alone.

Within an hour of landing in a five-seater plane, we bounced along a dirt path in a Toyota Land Cruiser and then stopped in the midst of a herd of 20 elephants. In the 30 minutes we watched them, one bull elephant did a mock charge that started to turn more serious as a baby elephant got separated from the family and shrieked his fear. Our guide knew the mock charge might become a real one, so he warned off the giant and carved a wide circle around the herd. It took an hour for my heart rate to settle.

Talk about living in the moment.

So I know that for good getaway, fewer people and more nature works for me. A little adrenaline rush, but not anything too serious. The most critical thing will be that “in the moment” experience.

Living moment to moment is a skill I need to develop. I’m trying hard to keep that top of mind, at work, at home, every day. One heartbeat at a time.

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