On the daily

The joy of holidays unplugged

We had a great time away with Aussie / American friends and their 4 kids sailing in the British Virgin Islands last week. Since landing in the US and starting "g", it was one of the first holiday holidays we have had. In the past, holidays involved evacuating (1) the rain of Portland and (2) the pressures of the business to collapse and recover – not ideal. This was different.

It has taken me some time to figure out that holidays with kids need engineering to ensure everyone truly has a holiday. Our friend's three daughters, aged 9, 7 and 5 have known our 8 and 6 year old sons from back in Sydney and while we have both been living in the US (they are from Sydney and now live in Ct) . So it was perfect. They also have an 11 month old son so it was fun watching our boys interact with their little Julius.

Breaks are such a great opportunity to regenerate. The key of course is truly disconnecting, something I have struggled with. This time was easy as the destination was terrific and AT&T's roaming charges were enormous. Being iPhone-free for a week was easy. Observing backpackers on the trip, it was interesting to see how connected they are with laptops / cell phones compared to when we backpacked. With no connectivity, I wrote letters home to friends and family and that was about it. I totally understand the excitement around sharing all those great traveling experiences right when they are happening but it got me thinking about whether we are so focused on sharing the experience that it somehow diminishes the experience. You spend more time sharing than experiencing? Is there a lesson here for me?

We had a funny cellphone-free episode with our friends. We each had rental cars on the last 2 days while staying on Tortola.  We had spent the morning with our own families and had arranged to meet at a restaurant for lunch. Neither of us had phones or a map. So we did what we would have done back in 1988. We actually asked the locals for directions. We got to the restaurant first. It was closed for the day. We bumped into the owner (a miserable but accomodating Scot) who suggested a place on Cane Garden Bay. With a cell phone we would have called our friends and been off. But no, we needed to wait for them by the road.The kids were befuddled…we were what? Waiting? What if they don't show?

So wait we did and they did indeed make it. It reminded us of those bygone years where a backpacking trip was one big, unplanned adventure.

Screen shot 2011-03-31 at 3.56.23 AM
Kimmy asking for directions at a bar perched on top of Tortola, BVI.



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