Connected or Unconnected?

Posted in Escape| Work
It seems like most people’s idea of a perfect vacation involves getting away from “it all”… and usually “it all” refers to the daily burdens of work, emails and the never ending barrage of phone calls, text messages and calendar alerts. The location for the “perfect get away” varies widely depending on who you ask; from a tropical beach to a snow covered mountain to a wildlife safari.  The one thing that is common though is that people just want to get away from daily life and “turn off” from the non-stop information overload.

Sure we all say that…but is that TRULY the case?  

As much as we all like to complain about being tied to our laptop, iphone, DVR, tablet and gaming devices, when given the chance to leave them behind, many of us choose not to. On an average day, most people cannot resist broadcasting their latest meal choice on all sorts of social media…how can we expect them to keep quiet about jet skiing, camping or fashion shopping around the world?

What a great place to relax and tune out…right after I post a photo to make my friends jealous

When you are getting packed for a vacation, have you ever thought about leaving all of your devices at home?  Of course not. Most people justify it by saying its just there for an emergency, but unless updating Instagram or Facebook is now considered an emergency, that’s usually just a thinly veiled excuse. And while social networking may be difficult to leave behind, even the universally dreaded work emails and conference calls often follow along via online access to work email accounts and calendars and conference call bridge numbers that can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

For those who cannot disconnect on their own, there are a number of Technology Free Vacations ranging from camping trips off the back roads of California to tropical get aways in Hawaii and peaceful villages in the Irish countryside.  Digital Detox Retreats organizes trips all over the world that provide you with access to any number of activities as long as they do not include wifi access.

Some vacations, like the ones mentioned above, are purposely set up to force you to turn off and disconnect (and there’s usually a price tag that comes with that forced sequestration). Others times you will find yourself accidentally forced into a technology free vacation because you ended up in a corner of the world that has spotty to no WiFi service and where even hot, running water is out of the question.  Often when you don’t have access to a computer, you also don’t have access to many other of life’s little conveniences (e.g. air conditioning, hot water, window screens).

Sure you could read a book, but with an iPad you could read a book AND check your emails

As a blogger, I always prefer to have the option to stay connected, even if I choose not to.  I’m sure my bag is always a little heavier than it needs to be because I can’t bear to be without my DSLR camera, laptop (or at a minimum my iPad) and my iPhone.  If these devices were for my 9 – 5 job, I’d have no problem leaving at home, but because I love to write about travel and share interesting stories from various sources, I don’t much mind lugging around the extra weight that comes from these devices and all the cords, converters and battery packs that go along with them.

What about you? How do you prefer to travel? Totally connected or off the grid?


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