I thought it was impossible! I didn’t think I could do it!! But I did!!!
For two weeks – that’s 14 full days – I totally unplugged. That means no phone, no emails, no text, no social media. The reason? I was traveling in Italy on a vacation and I wanted to have some real time off.
Before I left, several friends told me to just spend a couple of minutes every morning checking my messages, and I agree that I was tempted, but I knew that those “couple of minutes” would turn into hours. So I made a conscious decision to unplug. I didn’t take my laptop or iPad or iPhone with me. Well actually, I did take my iPhone but only used it to take photos.
It wasn’t easy, though, and I would offer three suggestions if you should ever decide to do the same, even if it’s only for a day or two:
1. Prepare. Before you pull that plug, contact everyone who might need you or your services and tell them you will not be available – then give them specific dates. I strongly suggest that you say you are leaving one day earlier than you actually are because I guarantee that everyone will want to talk to you as you are ready to walk out the door.
2. Don’t be tempted. Make your decision and stick to it. As I walked out my hotel room in Venice, there in the hallway was a computer set up for guests to use. At first I thought: “Oh, what difference will one hour make.” Then I walked past that computer, headed to the local coffee shop and sipped a cappuccino while chatting with other travelers. A much better option!
3. Never doubt yourself. Once you return home to hundreds of emails waiting for you and more messages on social media than you can handle, it’s easy to ask yourself: “Was it worth it?” And the answer is YES. Every time you look at your photos you will remember why it was the best decision you could have made.
You know, I may never be in Italy again. I can always catch up on Facebook and all my other messages once I return. Just take a look at the photo I posted on this blog. It was much better to experience my own adventure than to read about others.