Most people who work in development get a little more time off compared to people doing the 9 to 5 thing in the U.S. and in some cases even more than the 4-6 weeks many Europeans get. The idea is that because we live is tough conditions, our mental sanity requires a little more time off every now and then to be restored and allow us to continue living in rough places. 'R&Rs' (rest and relaxation) really varies with each organization and also depending on the situation. I have one friend who only gets time off after 4 months versus another friend who leaves every 6-8 weeks. I usually take off every three months and by the 10th week in I'm usually at the end of my rope and crawling the the finish line of the 12th week.
I'm at my 10th week right now and I actually was pretty beat last week. As I'm trying to close another project, I'm not exactly sure which days I'll actually take off, but I'm hoping to hammer that out later this week when I go to Juba.
So, like many of my friends out here in the sticks, I LOVE thinking about where I want to go on my next R&R. It's actually one of the reasons why leaving fieldwork would be kinda hard...few jobs have allowed me the opportunity to travel so much. There is just so much world to see and so little time. I originally started off with wanting to go to Egypt, but then went nuts about going to Tunisia. Tunisia however is a bit complicated to get to and turns out that Egypt is as well (well, mostly the dates of travel are a problem) so now I'm all about going to Ethiopia! Ever now and then I've thought about just going to Kenya, hanging out in Nairobi, flying to Lamu (my favorite little island) and sipping fruit drinks day and night, but then I usually have that 'ohh...you only get this opportunity so often so make the best and see somewhere new' feeling so now I'm back to the idea of going to Ethiopia. However, that said, I'm definitely open to suggestions. Its really between going somewhere familiar and comfortable or exploring something new. What do you think?