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What You Need For Your Best Vacation Ever

What is the best vacation you’ve ever been on? Maybe your favorite isn’t a vacation, but rather a “staycation.” Have you ever been on a vacation that you really didn’t enjoy? If you have, it is likely because you wanted something different out of the time than at least some of the people you were with. I’ve been there.

Most of us assume that we all want the same thing out of our vacations. But the reality is that just isn’t true. While some people want to relax as much as possible, others want to go and do and see everything they can. Some people might prefer quiet time away from people, while others just want to find the party. The truth is, there is no right or best way to vacation. Everyone is different, and that’s okay.

The Enneagram is my favorite tool for helping people understand themselves and others. One of the more fun sides of the Enneagram is when we talk about how we all relax. While you may think that is a strange thing to use the Enneagram for, it can be incredibly insightful when you think about how difficult a vacation can actually be! How often do you get psyched up for a vacation, but then half-way through you’re longing for the comfort and familiarity of your regular routine? It doesn’t have to be that way.

Knowing what you need when you relax, and knowing what others need as well, is critical to having a relaxing and refreshing time away from regular life. Here are just a few, brief insights about how we relax, based on our Enneagram numbers:

  • Ones tend to turn off the strict systems of law and order and be more indulgent on vacations. In normal life, a rigid schedule is comforting, but in vacation, they may crave spontaneity and might actually become stressed out or frustrated if their time feels over-planned.

  • Twos can use vacation as a space to become more in touch with their creative side. They might find it nice to get away from people -and from the needs of people- and recluse into a good book or movie-binge.

  • Threes often have the most trouble taking vacation since that environment almost prohibits them from being productive. But if they can make space in their lives for it, they can actually build some of their strongest relationships with others when they are together with nothing to prove or earn.

  • Fours can use vacation as a space to get away from the highs and lows of their daily emotions. Space can give them perspective on what is really good and valuable and true in their lives.

  • Fives are normally slow-moving, trying to account for every step before they take it. But when they are relaxed, they can actually become much bolder and decisive, adventuring into experiences that they would only normally analyze from afar.

  • Sixes can use vacation as a time to relax and reflect. Like the rest of life, they don’t usually want to make a bunch of decisions each day, but they might have a certain thing they really want to do. Besides that rare instance, they are usually good to “go with the flow.” It can be very beneficial for a Six to use the time away from the routine and responsibilities of life to reflect on how many of their anxieties in the past have never actually come to fruition.

  • Sevens can be wild in life but surprisingly calm on vacations. That doesn’t mean they won’t want to go do all the fun things there are to do, but rather that we shouldn’t be surprised if/when they want to have a quiet time together and dive into some important topics of conversation.

  • Eights on vacation can be remarkably different people than what others see in the rest of life. Where an Eight can typically be hard-nosed and determined, with little time for games, on vacation mode, they can turn off their need to save the world and actually really enjoy some small, meaningful things that they would normally overlook.

  • Nines in vacation mode can be some of the most surprising people. Normally content to sit in the background of their day, vacation-Nines can be some of the best planners and motivators to go and see and experience whatever the vacation has to offer.

Whatever your Enneagram number is, it can be very helpful to know what you need from a vacation. It is just as beneficial to understand what others need as well. The only thing that should be applied to everyone on vacation is that they enjoy it and come back refreshed and ready to tackle “real life” again.

Want to learn more about the Enneagram and how it can help your team (business, marriage, department, etc) thrive in every season? Visit now for more info and a free quote for a team training!


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