Ahhhh vacation: described as a period of time that a person spends AWAY from home, school, or business usually in order to relax or travel. My wife and I took one recently and it was fantastic. To be more specific we went on a Bahamas cruise. It was sunny and 80 degrees every day (meanwhile back in Central PA it was about 10 degrees). Why am I writing this seemingly brag-filled post? Everyone needs a true vacation. Read on.
The best part of this trip…aside from the sun and warm temps…two words. No Service. Oh, the cruise ship service was great. We were well fed, served wine every night and good old Nan kept our cabin in tip-top shape. I’m talking about the two little words that suddenly appeared on the upper left corner of my phone not long after we disembarked from Miami.
Boom. No Service (note: I had turned off all international roaming to ensure this). And with that, we knew the trip would be stress free. I actually wanted to do a little dance on the top deck of the ship. I was free. Free from my hectic life. Free from all things business. I was 10 again! I’m king of the world! …no emails, no texting, and no voice mail. I imagined myself yelling this with my arms spread wide at the bow of the ship…but that particular famous cruise quote ended in no vacation for the guests. Funny, I get annoyed when I hit a dead spot on the turnpike, but this, this was much different. Yes, I could just turn the stupid smart phone off and put it away but without my trusty phone at my side I get uneasy. Sad, but true. It’s like a pair of underwear…sure you could go without them but you feel weird all day long. Plus, the phone is my alarm, watch, juke box (that really dates me, perhaps I should say its my boom box) and camera at times. Yes, even professional photographers use their phone’s camera. They say the best camera you have when you need one is the one you have with you but that’s for another post.
Anyway, I witnessed a lot of folks racking up international data charges and stress on their vacation. I over heard business deals, scheduling and other apparently very important stuff going down. Why? Maybe I’m just not that important. I run my busy commercial photography business and while I keep in close contact with my clients on a regular basis (and let them know I’ll be away) I don’t feel the need to ruin a perfectly good vacation with work. Seems to negate what a vacation is suppose to be.
The sunny, relaxing vacation went by and then just like that “it” happened on the last day in Key West. The little bars came back. I knew what was about to happen. My phone blew up with almost every notification sound it has on it. In came the emails, text messsages, voicemails, LinkedIn messages and those replies to earlier Facebook taunts to my cold PA friends (not so funny anymore)…I could feel the tension and hecticness shoot through my smartphone circuit boards. I SHOULD have turned it off per my wife (as she continued to relax with her phone off)…but the damage was done. It was soon over.
Shutting down in this tech filled day and age is hard…really hard but it’s important to disconnect from time to time…especially on vacation with family. It’s a big world out there…soak it up, take it in, see it, enjoy it, live it…without looking at a 3 ½ by 2 inch screen every 5 minutes! You won’t regret it.
(Jason Minick, is owner/photographer at Minick Photography)