Life is short. Some days, it’s good to ditch the to-do-list and just hie off for a few days to simply chill.I wish I could tell you it was a spontaneous act. But the reality is that I am a practical person. So, a few days at the beach, well, technically, only a little over 36 hours because the rest of the time was spent elsewhere, was actually planned three months ahead.I like having a plan. Things don’t always go as planned but you can also have a backup plan. That usually works. You can also save a bit because you can avail of better prices especially when you plan to go during the lean season.I love the lean season. Cheaper prices for the same quality of services. But the best part about the lean season is the absence of crowds wherever you go.No waiting lines when you want to snap a few photos of some popular spot. No hordes of people you have to jostle with simply to get from point A to B. No loud and annoying voices disturbing your peace as you gaze in awe at humankind or God’s works of art.And call me anti-social but I think of a vacation as an escape so it’s really not my idea of a vacation when I meet a lot of people I know but not necessarily people I want to spend time with, on my vacation.So, most times, I pick places that are not extremely popular, a little bit hard to get to and places I think most people I know would not want to go to. Off-the-beaten tracks and trails. Far-away and unheard-of-places. Difficult-to-access destinations.I try not to go to places everyone is talking about. I go to these places when no one is talking about them yet or wait to go till all the hype has gone down.And as I am fortunate to enjoy flexible working hours, I never go on the weekends or holidays. I choose to holiday when people are working and choose to work when people are holidaying.I like to go during off-peak days and times. I love the lean season.Easy-to-access and extremely popular places during the weekends means everyone will be there. What are the odds I will bump into someone I know? Very high. I live in a small city and island. That’s why I choose to go far, go private, go different, go extreme or go lean.Sometimes, though, driving to the tip of the island is far enough for me. That’s why I chose to go to a beach that’s over 120 kilometers away when there are plenty just a little over 20 kilometers away from me.And the rewards were great. We had the beach to ourselves. We had all the space and silence we wanted. Just us creating a ruckus. And because we chose to go in the middle of the week, it was no surprise we met absolutely no one we knew.The perfect vacation.Life is short. It should be spent well. On lean days, it’s good to just hide off and make memories with the people who matter.