Taking a vacation that really matters | We are living in the hyper-connected age of smartphones, tweets and social newsfeeds. How do we take vacation? There are different flavors: (A) just taking time off at home, (B) travel for fun but semi-tethered to your digital devices, and (C) leaving home for a complete digital detox. Would you be capable and ready to opt into C?
Our daily drip of internet-enabled information became woven into our professional and personal lives. Hard to escape. If a so-called ‘expert’ advises you leaving your smartphone behind when you head off on vacation, this ‘expert’ is either straight forward dumb or born in the 1950ies or both. You will definitely need your smartphone for bookings, payments, finding locations and recording the turtles you met at Hanalei Bay. But let’s trim this down to a healthy low level. These are the key points to take care of:
The Exploding Inbox
The prospect of an exploding inbox can cause intense pre-vacation jitters. With the right approach, you can withstand the onslaught of a few days of unanswered mail. Do turn on your “Out of Office” automated reply so clients and colleagues know that you’re away. In that message, let people know where you stand on reviewing emails. Consider letting them know that if you’re not in the “to” field, you may not read it. Suggest a date after which they should resend the email if they really need you to see it. The website Careercast.com offers 10 steps toward ensuring a restorative vacation, everything from “Plan Ahead” and “Delegate Major Projects” to “Leave Emergency Contact Information” and, importantly, “Trust Your Coworkers.” This last one illuminates a key to taking restful vacations that most of us probably don’t fully utilize. Coworkers have the potential to make or break our vacations depending on how empowered they feel to step in while we’re away. Grant them ownership of important projects and trust them to do a great job. You’ll likely receive fewer emergency texts while you’re away.
Those Addictive Apps
Tuning into those addictive apps – any kind of game or social media app – with their steady stream of other people’s news and experiences, makes it nearly impossible to be in the moment with your own. Switch them off, or even better temporarily delete them from your smart device.
How #hashtaggable is your Vacation Spot?
By now we all know this photo too well: Odda in Norway -> #Trolltunga … a tourist is sitting alone on the edge of a dangerously high cliff, looking down to the quiet azure waters of Lake Ringedalsvatnet. There’s not another soul in sight … at least, that’s what the Instagram snapshot might have you believing. The photo of this iconic vista does only tell half the story, not revealing that there is actually very long line of hikers weaving around the rocky terrain, all waiting for their chance to capture their version of Trolltunga. Until 2010, less than 800 people hiked to Trolltunga each year. In 2016 more than 80,000 people hiked the 27 km round-trip from Skjeggedal – following the beaten path of social media-fueled mass tourism. For many of us Social Media has changed the way we choose our vacation spots. Being at the most-instagrammed restaurant, posting at that same most-tagged infinity pool … there’s no doubt that Facebook, Instagram & Co. have become today’s strongest travel drivers – a never ending source of inspiration. Nothing wrong with that. We found our best travel inspiration right there, too. Many of these most-photographed locations can back up their virtual fame. Just let us remind you: Don’t rush from one ‘must-get’ shot to another. You easily forget you’re supposed to be having fun and to RELAX! At least try to appreciate what you see in between. You might discover something no one else has.
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Vacation that really matters. By Chili & Chirp | Hugging Horizons since 2004.