Redeye #FREEDOM

I was just like you, skimming through social media, checking out the profiles of beautiful destinations and other epic visual travel outlets. For a moment, I would sink into my seat and daydream, get carried away in my thoughts, questioning why I am currently strapped to this desk in a cubicle. Then, like any good minion, I would get on with it, back to work, back to safety and back to being content.

I am not writing this post to say that that lifestyle is out of the ordinary or unacceptable. Rather, I am writing this to offer all you great minions a reality check as well as a glimmer of hope.

Brace yourself, it is time for you to think of the bigger picture – to create a strategy that will allow you to be in a foreign location next week.

Quite frankly you probably already know all of this but have never thought to put this knowledge into action.

Firstly, before we get carried away with unrealistic destinations for a 3-day weekend, I’d suggest you pick a location that’s at least a 5 to 8 hours plane ride away from where you’re at currently. Secondly, you need to understand that what I am about to share with you promotes professional risk. This opportunity is not for the weak. This opportunity is for those that want to re-ignite that fire inside them. With a sense of bravado, adding a little spice back into your life.

If the description above jumps off the page then act on this and do it proudly. Don’t hesitate to invite one of your best mates as well.

Step 1: identify a location 5-8 hours away from you. Keep in mind that this must be a destination with a direct flight from where you are. 

Step 2: Ensure that this flight leaves on a Thursday evening after your work hours conclude and returns late Sunday.

Step 3: Book this flight within 2 weeks of your travel date. Why? Because the anticipation of waiting months for a trip is anti-climactic.  Plus, you should be able to have a good grasp of your schedule with a two-week buffer.

Step 4: Get a good night’s sleep the night before your departure, because believe me, the following evening you will be sleeping sitting upright on the plane. Keep in mind; you are still going to work Friday, meeting all deadlines, answering all calls and e-mails. You are a disciplined man, with strong work ethics that takes pride in your professional accomplishments.

In return, your reward is waking up in a foreign country! Your co-workers are in HK on a Friday working in a cement box, while you sit at a desk in the JW Marriott Dubai, the world’s tallest hotel in the world, with a silly grin on your face. When work lets out, your co-workers go to the local watering hole, however when work lets out for you at 11am a sense of swagger is at full force. Trust me, women that walk by you sense it, maybe even smell it. That morning of arrival, grab a quick nap, if need be. Then, head to the Dubai Mall for an afternoon ski, followed by dinner and drinks at the Vault and then a night out at Pacha. The weekend will consist of sand boarding, dune bungees, beautiful women and champagne.

In conclusion: You can thank me later for giving you this kick in the ass.

Please think this through first to mitigate risk. Remember you didn’t take a vacation day.

  1. Book the flight that makes the most sense at a price appropriate for you – You cannot be loyal to a specific airline unless they are offering the perfect flight. You need to depart after working hours and arrive before the meetings kick off Monday morning. Check out Kayak.com and Skyscanner.net to initiate your search.
  2. Direct Flights Only – You cannot risk a missed connection flight. Be smart and book a direct flight.
  3. Carry On Only – I am not going to take the time to explain this.
  4. Use an airline search engine like Kayak – Ensure that you view all of your options and explore various destinations to identify the right trip.
  5. Check your Time zones – And then double-check them again. Very important not to screw this up or you blow your cover.
  6. Avoid Social Media – If your co-workers are on social media then do not post your departure time on Facebook (hopefully this is common sense by now).
  7. International Phone Service – I already reminded you above that you will work on Friday and have the discipline to do it well. You are no good to anyone if you cannot be reached. Pay for access to international data and cell service. Plus, it is always good to be able to stay in touch with your newfound friends from over the weekend.
  8. Check your hotel on Hotels.com or TripAdvisor – Make sure the hotel has a respectable WIFI connection.
  9. Don’t put your Outlook Away Message Up – Another one of those common-sense moments but best I speak up on behalf of you.
  10. Call your credit cards – Might want to let your credit card company know that you are leaving the country.
  11. Pack for all occasions – The most important one. After this personal victory, you never know what kind of trouble you will be open to exploring. It never hurts to pack a dress shirt to go out for a fancy dinner or club, bathing suit for a pool party/beach, shirt and shorts if it’s hot, and I recommend a light jacket just in case. Remember, you are the man this weekend!

Just to be clear, everything comes with some risk and responsibility. Be prepared for two unfortunate events:

  1. If you have a meeting, event appearance or in-person requirement that comes up last minute and cannot be moved, you have to take it in the chin and either move this trip or take a loss in the flight.
  2. If your presence in the office is required and you’re currently in some exotic locale, do not lie. Tell the truth, but tie in a small white lie at the end. Say where you are and that you took a red-eye flight that will allow you to be online for work and be available during working hours on Friday. Then, you throw in the white lie. I suggest using the good-ole “My best mate is getting married” line. Tell your boss or co-worker that you decided on it at the last minute and would have flown out on Friday evening if not for the air ticket being twice the price. Trust me, he/she will be amused by your bravado and be sympathetic about the cost of flights. In the end, you will live to see another day. Monday, you will be back in the office on time and ready for the morning meeting. You may get a quick barking and then all will be forgotten. Like I said, he/ she will be impressed, maybe even jealous as long as you get your work done.

I dare you to book a flight, just take note of the information above. Most importantly, enjoy yourself.

You are a legend! Make sure to send me some great pictures from your trip.

P.S. To the women reading this, nobody said that you can’t follow this strategy and enjoy the thrill of a lifetime. Might be worth telling your boyfriend to grow some balls and then the two of you could enjoy a three-day holiday together.

Photo Locations: (1) Cappadocia, Turkey (2) Dubai Marina, UAE (3) Carnival, Venice, Italy