It took me a big part of my early adult youth to finally recognize and then admit to the fact that I am a bit of a control freak. With my personal life and my professional life. The concept of being “on vacation” has always been a little hard for me and I used to always attribute it to the fact that I was just taking vacations at the wrong time – times when I just had a big deliverable or pressing deadline. Finally, i realized that the common denominator in never fully allowing myself to really let go and BE on vacation, wasn’t the fact that it was the wrong time, or a pressing project, but ME. It’s kind of the same reason I have never been able to fully commit to doing yoga. My mind and brain are never really off (is anyone’s anymore). Meditation for 10 minutes, 15 minutes….huh, no way!
Then came the smart phone. For the past 7 years, every vacation I have taken, I have of course had my cell phone/smart phone with me and that of course means at least reading work emails, sure – maybe I don’t respond to the emails until I actually get back (and to be perfectly honest, i don’t respond to the emails more because I know I’ll get ‘scolded’ from the people I am responding to), but I am at least retaining some of the information of what is going at work.
This became very clear to me during my last vacation to Europe, just over spring break. More and more frequently, we rely on smart phones for our news retention. Away from my natural habitat, reliance to my phone becomes paramount as it the ONLY lifeline to the outside world. Maps, photos, reservations, translations, news, texting. It’s like I am not even away from home. Since I was ON my phone during this vacation so much, it was a natural inclination for me to just ‘check in with my work emails’. Especially with this last vacation and our flights were routed in and out of Brussels airport. I was so thankful to have such a connection to home during that scary time and thankful to have so many reach out to me via text, facebook, email, even twitter to check on us as they knew about our travel plans. I reached back out to all those concerned and by the way…let me just respond to the work question while I am at it. 🙂
I can say the one good thing about never being too far on vacation with your smart phone is that transitioning back into the real world is that much easier. My inbox isn’t usually really backlogged. Could be a good or a bad thing!