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You may follow some of those Instagram models with massive followings who make a living by traveling the globe to beautiful beach destinations and by simply being really, ridiculously attractive (examples: Alexis Ren and Helen Owen). They promote things like swimsuits and fit teas and plug the resorts in which they stay to their millions of followers, and I guess they get paid pretty well doing it. They travel seemingly all year long, to multiple destinations a month. They’re very popular, because they’re very hot and take high quality, sexy pictures that they share with the world.
My dear friend and coworker Will deFries is just like them, except whereas they are in impossibly good shape and have golden brown tans, Will has the appearance of exactly what he is: a blogger who sits at a desk five days a week. They earn money by vacationing, whereas Will has to pay to do the same thing. They have Instagram followings in the millions, whereas Will just hit a modest 3k. They bring what appears to be professional photographers with them, whereas Will has an iPhone.
They look like this:
and like this:
Whereas Will looks like this:
But scrolling through Will’s Instagram feed will yield an almost identical experience to scrolling through Alexis Ren’s, save the vastly differing physical appearances of the subjects in the photos. It’s all pristine beaches and beautiful, mountainous terrains. It’s villas and cabins, bungalows and lodges. It’s fine dining on white sand and fireside hot cocoa. It’s crystal clear water and freshly fallen snow. It’s postcard-esque.
And when two Grandex employees had the privilege of traveling to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, expense-free, to take in a Budweiser-sponsored weekend of beer-drinking and tours, guess who got to go.
Today, when we received the top picture of Will catching rays (sleeping?) in a pool in Cabo in the dead of winter while we grind away at HQ in Austin, we all asked ourselves again: How does he do it? How does he travel so much? How can he afford it? How is he able to stay enough under the Grandex radar in order to record such huge chunks of PTO? No one knows the answers to these questions.
I didn’t actually know he was on vacay until that picture was dropped into the text group this afternoon, but I should have. If Will isn’t in the office on a Thursday, it’s because he’s either home sick or sipping a Mai Tai in the Caribbean. And I’m so impressed by this.
I don’t even know how to comprehend what’s going on here, or if I should be upset by it. Am I envious? Of course I am. A little jealous? Yeah, maybe. Do I respect what he’s doing? I think I have to. He’s putting on a vacation clinic and rubbing it in 3,000 people’s faces, mine included. He’s setting the corporate standard for maximizing PTO. He’s a year-round jet setter with a nine-to-five. He travels like he’s retired. He travels like he’s rich.
He stays plugged in while he’s away so he can hit pause to recreate an in-pool pose from his idol and slap on an appropriate quote from that same idol.
He’s Vacation Will. He’s unstoppable. He’s an inspiration. He’ll be returning to work some time in January — rested, with a tan, and with another motherfucking stamp in his passport..