Is the art of taking a vacation is endangered by our modern “always- connected” lifestyles.
July and August is the time of the year that many people in the northern hemisphere take a vacation. A vacation is defined as “an extended period of recreation, especially one spent away from home or in traveling”. The word vacation comes from the Latin word “vacatio” which means “freedom, and release from occupation” and the word “vacare,” which means “empty.”
Do you remember the days when the office was the only place that you could have access to your work? The good old days of opening letters and receiving a fax once in a while and answering phone calls on a big clunky phone that was connected to a wall with a cable. And when we left on vacation, we really left could not be reached. If you are not old enough to remember, maybe you remember your parents in this kind of a work environment.
We went off to vacation in complete “freedom” and “release from occupation” and were able to “empty” our minds. Control-Alt-Delete. Refresh. Ahhh….
Things have changed a bit. We go on vacation and are “available if something important comes up”. We have a hard time putting down our electronic devices since a lot of our social life happens on there. We are always “on call” and always “available”. Every time it is harder to get away and make sure that our minds are not preoccupied with the same issues that we think about at work throughout the year.
Here is some advice from us. We know it is hard, but if you are able to pull it off, you will feel the difference once you are back in the real world.
- Before your vacation, take the time to leave things in place and organized. If you have great colleagues or employees, they should be able to take care of things for up to 2 weeks for you. Don’t blow up yourself and your ego and think that you are irreplaceable. You are not.
- Make sure that everybody travelling with you (spouses, kids, friends, etc) are on the same plan: As little connection to the day to day and a strong focus on getting away.
- Why not take a break from your social media experience as well. It might be quite refreshing and a good change in routine.
- You might suffer from withdrawal symptoms. Make sure you are prepared to face this. It has happened to us as well.
- Bring a book or magazines that are printed on paper.
- Engage in activities that take you out of your comfort zone. Take a couple of surf lessons, rappel down a waterfall or go on a long hike.
- Keep your mind occupied by learning a new language, take cooking classes or learn a handicraft.
- Spend time with real people. Look them in the eyes, tell each other stories, laugh together, play a game and share meals.
At the Cayuga Collection Hotels in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, you have the option to “disconnect” to connect. At most of our hotels, it is your choice to decide if you want to go offline completely. Maybe at least a few days might help. At Lapa Rios Ecolodge in the Osa Peninsula, we don’t offer Wifi to our guests and it is a great place to do the “Control-Alt-Delete” therapy. Take a look at what our guests have said in the past.
We will continue to talk about this topic in the next blogs and explore the art of vacationing a bit further. What can a vacation do for you? How you need to pay attention to the things you think about and learn during your vacations. They can make a very positive difference in your day to day back at work. Stay tuned…