I had heard many times that other countries have lots more vacation than us Yanks, but today a friend sent me this article (and shocking graph) from the BBC:
I previously mentioned that I earn 15 days of vacation a year, and that’s only AFTER I worked in my current job for five years to get bumped up from 12 days per year. I consider myself fortunate to be one of the (lucky?) few that is considered a government employee. The downside is less pay than the private sector, but also ten paid holidays per year and some measure of job security.
This BBC article on how much paid holiday leave people get is astounding to me. I’m SO lucky to have paid holidays when there are NO mandates for employers in America on how much leave they need to give their employees.
This further illustrates my interest in moving abroad. It’s not just about getting extra holiday leave (though that would, of course, be nice). It’s about the different mindsets. I have to wonder if EVERY place around the world is as overworked and driven and – let’s admit it – stressed out as America is about career and employment. I have to think not. I’m sure there are additional factors at work in other countries (there always are), but I’d like to experience those different mindsets.
Ultimately, I think all of us need some perspective in our lives. And I believe that living abroad for a year or two will – hopefully – make me a better American when I return.