Stories about Software


DaedTech Digest: Is My Life a Never-Ending Vacation?

Another Friday, and the digest rolls on.  Last week, I talked about getting a home ready to leave saying that it’s not so hard, and it’s actually like leaving for a long vacation.  And that reminded me of something that people ask me a lot in conversation:

Your Life Seems like a Never-Ending Vacation.  Is That True?

I’m going to answer that in a way that seems to have become a pattern here.  Yes… and no.

Let’s start with the no.

Adopt This Mental Model: Is Business Travel Vacation?

To understand why I would say my life isn’t constant vacation, let’s start with something to which most of you can probably relate.  You’ve done some business travel, haven’t you?  So start there when you wonder what it’s like to be an entrepreneurial slow traveler.

Personally, I put business travel into two conceptual buckets: ad hoc business travel and commuter business travel.  Ad hoc business travel is what most of you can relate to, I’d imagine.  Every now and then, Mr Spacely comes in and says, “Jetson!!!  I need you to fly to Atlanta next month for mandatory compliance training!”  The company travel agent then sets you up, and off you go in a middle seat with one stopover on your way to Hartsfield–Jackson and then a Hilton, or whatever.

Is that a vacation?

Kinda, sorta-ish, if you don’t travel a lot, I imagine.  You work all day, and then you frantically try to go out at night and experience a little local or tourist life.  Maybe you even extend the trip for the weekend and bring the family.  But to call it vacation would be a stretch.

Then, there’s commuter travel.  That was my life for years, wherein you get on the plane every Sunday night and fly home every Friday night.  This often means going to the same place or a rotating sequence of same places.  You burn out seeing the local stuff, and eventually your spare time becomes reading your kindle at the nearby Outback Steakhouse or doing extra work in the hotel bar.

Is that a vacation?


My Life Isn’t a Constant Vacation — It’s a Vacation Right Outside Whenever I Have Time

Why do I bring this up, when my brand of slow traveling isn’t business traveling?  Well, because my life combines elements of both of these things when I’m on the road, all orienting around the fact that I do actually work quite a bit.

  1. When you go to a place, the immediate novelty wears off and you become more like an expatriate ‘resident.’
  2. You have a mental push to carpe as much diem as possible, since you’re choosing your locales.  I was a lot more motivated to get out in, say, San Diego than I was in, say, Detroit.

Vacation is sort of an iconic 9-5er concept of blowing off work for a week and worrying about nothing more than packing the car and driving to Sanibel Island where, damnit, you’re going to have fun.  You turn off the work, and make it your job to relax for a week.

That’s not a thing in my life.  I have a few businesses now, one of which is running an agency.  The work never truly lets you unplug for more than maybe 3 days.

I wind up working and spending lots of time in places (similar to commuter business travel).  And I also really like those places, since they have lots of novelty (similar to ad hoc business travel).  But it’s still quite similar to business travel.  So think of my life as a never-ending business trip to fun places.  Fun, but still business.

There is one great additional perk, however.  I can make my schedule — work on a Saturday and blow off a Tuesday morning to go fishing.  And when you layer this on top of everything else, you get something just a bit different from business travel.

My life is an awful lot of work, but done in cool places, affording me the ability to take micro-vacations whenever I feel like it and can shuffle things around.  But you don’t need to be a slow traveler for that to be true — you just need to appreciate your surroundings where you live and make time for enjoyment.


  • I was looking to explain the sales copy concept of “pain, dream, fix” to someone when I stumbled across this post.  The image in there explaining it is awesome. And it’s also going to be the centerpiece of an upcoming blog post here.
  • I’m going to pick Microsoft Azure as a platform.  It took me about 3 hours to take a little ASP MVC CRUD thing I’d developed and get it up and running in Azure.  This included web server, configuration, and database.  And it also included me knowing next to nothing about Azure when I started.  Oh, and it’s free (at least for a year or so, unless I add things to it).
  • Hit Subscribe authorship!  We’re growing  — a lot.  So if a side hustle writing technical blog posts interest you, get started here to be an author.

The Digest

  • For SubMain, I wrote another in my series explaining the CodeIt.Right rules.  A mix of throwbacks and current web development ideas.
  • What makes a codebase “acquirable”?  I answered that question on the NDepend blog, looking at how you could use some of NDepend’s metrics to tell you whether you’d want to inherit a codebase or not.
  • Here’s a pretty recent one on the Hit Subscribe blog that takes a data-backed look at how you can get an exponential organic traffic curve on a blog.  This includes actionable tips for what we did to make it happen.

As always, have yourself a great weekend.

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Phil Vuollet
Phil Vuollet
5 years ago

“Pain, Dream, Fix” is great! Reminds me of Daniel Pink’s “DreamWorks” technique from To Sell Is Human. Everyone should read that book! Even if you think you already know sales. And, especially if (like past version of me) you don’t think you need/want to know anything about sales. It was a game changer.