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.
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.