For my coworkers, going home is a somewhat easy ordeal. It could be a three-hour trip to northeast Nebraska, or an hour-long drive south on Highway 77, or a quick jaunt across town. That’s awesome, for them.

I don’t have it so easy. I’m the weirdo that moved here from Alaska.

I have to hop on a plane and travel the 3,360 miles and 10-plus hours to reach my hometown of Wasilla. Usually for me to travel back home, I would have to use all of my vacation days for one trip. Alaska’s not a place you can travel to on a four-day weekend. That would mean getting there, spending a day and a half, and getting right back on the plane. Turns out, that’s not a great use of funds.

My trip home was amazing. I was able to spend time with my family and friends that I get to see once a year. I saw friends I had not seen in years, and it was comforting to know that we could still talk like we had seen each other yesterday. It was important I made the trek home this summer so I could celebrate my 10-year high school reunion. I saw people I had not seen since graduation in 2005, and it was a blast reconnecting with them.

The part I loved most about this trip was just being able to relax and unplug for a bit. I could sit out on my parents’ deck and just look out at the lake and the mountains, and just take everything in. There were even a couple times I picked up the phone to tell the office I wasn’t coming back, but I didn’t think that would go over too well if I wanted to keep this awesome job.

At Maly Marketing, we’re fortunate enough to have unlimited vacation. I’m particularly fond of this perk because I’m allowed spend 11 days back home. Now, this perk isn’t just given to us, it’s earned. It’s a product of our company culture, and our number one rule to always produce our best work. Sometimes, that best work isn’t produced inside of the office, it could be produced while sitting on the deck while basking in the 70-degree weather and breathing in the crisp, fresh Alaskan air.

I think I can speak for all of us when I say we’re grateful to be in this position, to not feel like we can only be out of the office for a set number of days each year. It’s not just for vacation either. Sometimes life happens and you need to be out of the office for a day here and there. As long as the work still gets done, you’re able to have that flexibility. That’s a big part of what allows all of us to continuously produce our best work for our clients.