Elysium beckons…

My family took relatively few vacations when I was growing up, and I didn’t get into the habit myself until I was well into adulthood (and even parenthood). But now I’ve come to appreciate the value of a change of scene, and the opportunity to let one’s mind wander down unfamiliar paths for awhile. Among ...

Walt-Steve-foreign-policy-columnist20
Walt-Steve-foreign-policy-columnist20
Stephen M. Walt
By , a columnist at Foreign Policy and the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.
jamesjordan/flickr
jamesjordan/flickr
jamesjordan/flickr

My family took relatively few vacations when I was growing up, and I didn't get into the habit myself until I was well into adulthood (and even parenthood). But now I've come to appreciate the value of a change of scene, and the opportunity to let one's mind wander down unfamiliar paths for awhile. Among other things, I've found that some downtime often clarifies issues that have been clouded, and helps us see things in a new light. If we spend all our time pounding away at the same problems, we tend to come up with the same solutions over and over again.  Sometimes that's the right thing to do, but taking a bit of time away can be intellectually liberating. Not to mention good for one's mood.

I'm headed off for a couple of weeks vacation tomorrow, and my intention is to try to partially wean myself from my faithful laptop and let others carry most of the load here. I've lined up some interesting guest bloggers for while I'm away, and I'm sure I won't be able to resist chiming in now and again. I've loaded my Kindle with a bunch of new books, packed a few others, and my main goal is to kick back and absorb some new ideas. And when I'm not doing that, I intend  to spend a lot of time walking on the beach lost in thought. In any case, I'm counting on all of you to keep the world on an even keel till I get back to full-time blogging, sometime around the end of the month. . . 

One more thing: thanks to all of you for reading this blog. If you can, take some time off yourselves!

My family took relatively few vacations when I was growing up, and I didn’t get into the habit myself until I was well into adulthood (and even parenthood). But now I’ve come to appreciate the value of a change of scene, and the opportunity to let one’s mind wander down unfamiliar paths for awhile. Among other things, I’ve found that some downtime often clarifies issues that have been clouded, and helps us see things in a new light. If we spend all our time pounding away at the same problems, we tend to come up with the same solutions over and over again.  Sometimes that’s the right thing to do, but taking a bit of time away can be intellectually liberating. Not to mention good for one’s mood.

I’m headed off for a couple of weeks vacation tomorrow, and my intention is to try to partially wean myself from my faithful laptop and let others carry most of the load here. I’ve lined up some interesting guest bloggers for while I’m away, and I’m sure I won’t be able to resist chiming in now and again. I’ve loaded my Kindle with a bunch of new books, packed a few others, and my main goal is to kick back and absorb some new ideas. And when I’m not doing that, I intend  to spend a lot of time walking on the beach lost in thought. In any case, I’m counting on all of you to keep the world on an even keel till I get back to full-time blogging, sometime around the end of the month. . . 

One more thing: thanks to all of you for reading this blog. If you can, take some time off yourselves!

Stephen M. Walt is a columnist at Foreign Policy and the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University. Twitter: @stephenwalt

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