What Vacations Are Like When You Travel Full Time

January 17, 2013 by Anil Polat  

tokyo subway

This past December I took a 4 week vacation from blogging, using the rest of my self-appointed annual leave to recharge and avoid becoming my own personal slave driver. I hadn’t planned on writing about my break in-depth, but many of you wrote me curious as to how vacation actually works when you travel all the time. Even better, some of you wrote me what you imagined I was up to; from adventures to the far corners of Middle Earth to exploring the Gamma Quadrant. Perhaps not so ironically, traveling to new and exciting places wasn’t really in my plans.

No Mojitos On Tropical Beaches

Granted, ethanol is typically a foundation of my downtime, but I wasn’t sipping mixed drinks on islands in the middle of nowhere. (I’m not much of a beach person as it is.) When you’re life is defined by movement and uncertainty your natural desire is to stay in one place. Preferably a familiar, slightly boring locale, that is serenely routine and not quite tempting enough to feel like a missed travel blogging opportunity.

Apparently Vacations Need Planning

So far I haven’t put much (or really at all) prior thought into my holidays. I’ve just sort of fallen into them like a Corvette stolen by James Kirk off a cliff, with the open-ended goal of trying to stay put in one place. Something that I did accomplish, minus two flights halfway around the globe. At first I checked my emails frequently. I tweeted once or twice and opened up my laptop out of habit to get on Facebook and watch videos of pugs dressed as superheros. Consciously though I decided not to interact and eventually found myself opening up my computer lid less and less. And the result was time – to focus on the many aspects of life I mostly ignore when I’m traveling and working day to day. When I went offline was really the moment I felt on vacation and noticed a change. It’s also when I realized I should probably have done some more planning for all of this free time I didn’t realize Internet procrastination was covertly stealing.

Spices For Sale At The Didube Market In Tbilisi, Georgia

I read more books than I have in a while, reconnected with my fondness for cooking, and made room for all of that food by spending hours in a gym. Now that I’ve seen what an actual break is like from work and travel I’ll be prepared next time. Ready to see more friends and kick myself out of the digital office sooner.

The Rest Is Offline

In short my vacations are a combination of quiet time, reading, relaxing, and all of the other things that make me who I am outside of traveling and writing. All of the normal activities that don’t always seem normal to me anymore, yet make me realize it’s my life that’s out of the ordinary when I give them a chance.

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  1. Michael says:

    In my opinion, a vacation is not a vacation when you check your email (facebook/twitter etc) constantly. I recently took a “vacation”, didn’t go anywhere” but didn’t check my email for a full week and I felt so refreshed and full of energy.

  2. when i was travel most of the time, my “vaca” was staying home but good for you for taking some time out to re-charge!

  3. You got it right Anil. Travel writing can be a lot of fun as you get to explore the world and visit new countries and places. On the other hand its hard work constantly moving around and working online without a regular schedule can often be more work than a 9-5. In the end, its just like you said, we don’t always need to be working and reconnecting with the things that make you who you are should not be forgotten.

  4. Barbara says:

    So true, so long as there’s rest involved, it’s a vacation! We all need time off of what we look at as our “normal” routine. Good for you for taking that time!

  5. Yes. I think those of us that blog full time often forget to take a break – all this work can be pretty tiring. I took a break of a couple of weeks from blogging and social media around mid-October and used that time to chill out, focus more on my health, and not worry about the blog. I was feeling pretty run-down before then, but it gave me the energy I needed. We all need to slowwwwww down every once in a while.

  6. It is interesting how a vacation is really a break in whatever routine you are in, regardless of whether you are a full time traveller or doing a more normal job!

    I hope you enjoyed your time out and are refreshed ready for the year ahead.

  7. Stephen S. says:

    Sounds like you had the perfect relaxing vacation. Sometimes you just have ti step away from it all and just veg out. Ahhh but it’s good to have you back blogging Anil.

  8. AJ Aerni says:

    Kudos for taking time out for you. Do you have a home-base where you recharge or perhaps a favorite destination you call “home?”

  9. Larissa says:

    I know the feeling. When my husband and I were in the middle of our 14-month RTW we would just have to take a week or two somewhere and just veg. We called these “fire-breaks” in our travels. But nomads that we are, once our batteries were recharged, we were ready to hit the road again.

    I guess a vacation is a break from the norm, whatever the “norm” is for you.