We’re already in September of 2021! This last year and a half have been so hectic and worrisome, but somehow, 2021 seems busier for my family than 2020 did.
It has been a year of change, and our family is incredibly busy!
Planning our family vacation has been quite a challenge. There were always other priorities and excuses, like my husband can’t leave his business, it is too expensive, and so on.
BUT we did our Family Vision Board, and part of it was spending time together and traveling.
I feel the vision board exercise is very powerful. We have visualized going on vacation, and we talked about it all during the year. This made it a more conscious effort to overcome those obstacles. We HAD to do it because it was on the vision board!
We planned a family road trip for 9 days on the East Coast, just before Labor Day.
We had a plan and we were so excited. We were really looking forward to our vacation.
During the planning, we decided not to bring our laptops and to be very conscious about the time we were on our phones. Remember, we can leave the laptops at home, but the phones and iPad can do just about anything a laptop can do!
I’m writing this blogpost on day 5 of our road trip. It’s 5:30 am, I’m waiting for the sunrise, listening to the sound of the waves coming from the beach.
I’m the only one on the terrace of the resort, and I am thinking how grateful I am to be here.
While I am reflecting about the amazing trip we had so far and the precious time we’ve spent together, there are a couple of things that I could do without. Like the audiobook we are listening to while driving. My son and husband love weird fiction, but I love personal development books or podcasts. My son is always the last one to get out of the car when we’re going somewhere. He can drive me crazy sometimes. Or my daughter when she is tired of being in the car, she has a meltdown. But those things are part of the journey and are part of the memories, so it is okay. I’m sure I’ll miss those little moments when they’re all grown up and on their own.
The only thing I feel is actually hard, which I didn’t realize would be so difficult is disconnecting. We found the most challenging part of going on vacation: disconnecting from social media, from emails, from phone calls.
On the 2nd day we were at Virginia Beach, beautiful view, the kids were playing and my husband and I were checking our phones.
We didn’t realize what we were doing until our daughter came to us and asked for her phone. We looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders, and realized something. How can we be living our dream vacation of the year connected to our phones?
We want so badly to be present, to live fully in the moment, but we are also thinking about some of the things we thought we would handle while on vacation. I needed to write a blogpost, and my husband needed to send some important emails.
I know I’m not alone. Looking around the beach, the picture is about the same for several other families. There is always a phone around.
It is stronger than us!!!
Being connected is the new world standard.
I had a friend some years ago who went on a trip with his girlfriend to Brazil, and during one of their tours, they got robbed and ended up losing his backpack, which is where he had his phone. After that happened, he decided not to buy another one, for months. He didn’t have a phone, he had his iPad, which he checked once at night after work.
I thought it was crazy! When we wanted to connect with him, we had to call his girlfriend! He said he didn’t disconnect from the world because he had his work laptop, he checked his social media less than 1 hour per day using his iPad, so he felt he was still connected. What did he say he got out of it?
He got back time. Time to live fully in the present and to remove the urgency the phone can bring. He realized that what he did on his phone really wasn’t urgent and notifications just cluttered everything.
My friend’s experiment inspired me to do something similar during our vacation.
We want to build great memories while we’re on this amazing trip, so we decided to disconnect. Not completely, we didn’t feel prepared to go that far, but we did set some boundaries regarding our time and being connected to work, social media, emails, etc.
We had specific times to be connected, like for me it is early morning before breakfast, 30 minutes at lunch time and 1 hour at night.
This means there are no phones at the table, beach or doing family activities.
I use the phone for pictures so I switch off the notifications (Which looks weird, looking at my phone and seeing it blank).
I’m writing this post because I believe I’m not alone. I believe the people who read my blog are the ones who want to be 100% present with their families.
So don’t be afraid to disconnect, and don’t feel bad if you feel it’s hard. We’ve become dependent on our devices, but the world will continue turning if we’re not checking our email, and we’ll be so glad we have those precious memories with our friends and family!
Let me know when you feel it’s time to disconnect? Do you find it difficult to unplug or is this something you don’t really have any problem doing?