Here at Pubs and Pubs are big proponents of rest, relaxation, and work-life balance during the PhD experience. This month, we’re talking summer vacation. Even though travel is still limited, we’re encouraging you to take your annual leave and spend some time taking care of yourself this summer. Here are some of our committee members’ summer plans:

Séveric Yersin, Contributions Editor and Technical Editor

I didn’t plan real vacations this year, but I’m going away anyway. Exploiting my “home office” to its full potential, I’m going to spend some time visiting family in Germany and Switzerland but working from their places. I’ll probably work in the morning and relax in the afternoon and take some days off for a couple of long weekends – but no real summer break. I hope to be able to work productively while at the same time change my routine a little bit!

Megan King, Publicity Editor

Technically, I’m not taking a vacation this summer. 

I am, however, getting married in mid-July, which means that my family will be traveling from the States to the UK to celebrate with me. It’ll be the first time I’m seeing my parents since December 2019, so to say I’m painfully excited for everything would be an understatement! Obviously, their visit will come with about a week of quarantine, so we’ll be playing tons of board games and ordering too much takeout until we can make sure that everyone is safe and able to explore the South East of England!

Giovanna Pasquariello, Chair

I will try to switch off completely! No work emails, no academic reading, no PhD thoughts. I will fully enjoy the time off I will be able to take. I will recharge my batteries and sleep, sleep, sleep for the first few days. Take my time for cooking and read for pleasure! I thirst for fiction! There are currently five unread books sitting on my shelf – bought on an adrenaline rush in Autumn and not read yet. I really believe I will need a few days to adjust to the vacation mindset first. After that – Covid restrictions and rise in cases accordingly – I plan to travel to Cornwall. Maybe rent a car there and explore the coastline, visit Bodmin Moor and Tintagel Castle (as if I haven’t had enough castles, living in Scotland!), and walk through the Eden Project. I will take a deep breath of salt air at the Land’s End Landmark. And a picture or two, like a good tourist.

Vesna Curlic, Topical Editor

This summer, I’m still at home in Canada due to the pandemic, though I’ll be back in Edinburgh in September, so I’m trying to make the most of my last Canadian summer. For me, this means being outside in the wilderness – I have weekend trips to the woods planned, white water rafting, kayaking, hiking, etc. I have daytrips to small towns planned (restrictions allowing) and road trips to see old friends and family. I’m excited to make my hometown and surrounding areas feel as exotic as possible, while taking advantage of my flexible schedule!

Rachel Wilson-Lowe, Topical Editor

Despite everyone’s predictions that Covid would ostensibly end in 2020, the pandemic continues. And although we are starting to open up some restrictions with caution, for the majority of us, travel and overseas holidays are out of bounds for the foreseeable.

But the PhD rolls forward and taking annual leave is more important than ever to recharge our batteries. So, for my holidays, I was lucky enough for family to come and visit, which forced me to take some time off to host them. I think planning some annual leave that involves social network members encourages us to actually switch off and unplug. 

Another unexpected benefit of this summer of limited travel is that I have taken some annual leave to explore some more local holiday spots within the UK. I went to the Isles of Lewis and Harris for some much-needed time away, and they were extremely beautiful! But I don’t know if I would have made it a priority to visit had international travel been available to me, which would have been such a shame. I recommend looking closer to home for holidays and procrastinate by looking at yummy local restaurants and bakeries. It makes all the difference to just have something to look forward to!

Craig Lennox, Publicity Editor

Summer is finally here, and I am up to my ears packing boxes to move house and I am also about to start a new job. I am so excited but also stressed. After a busy few months, my summer will be spent settling into my new house and job, setting up my new home office to continue on the Ph.D. journey, and hopefully catching up with some reading as I am feeling a bit behind. I plan to write out a plan of action for the coming months until the end of the year to ensure that my reading and writing don’t flail and that the change of house and job hasn’t affected my Ph.D. progress too much. My dream is a week off sitting reading non-academic books and enjoying a gin and tonic or two but who am I kidding? That can happen once the thesis is submitted, and I wait for edits to come through. Until then it’s pedal to the metal in all areas of life.