A few days ago I returned home from a 13-day vacation with my family to Hawaii (written also as Hawai’i). Throughout the entire vacation I seldom thought about writing, and didn’t have any urges to write anything down in regards to new stories and other ideas. I was prepared though, having brought a notebook and two pens and a folder, but I only used the pens to write postcards to a couple of friends.
Some items I didn’t bring — and were without for the entire duration of the trip — were not missed in the least. It felt great to be away. I had decided to leave my cell phone at home, freeing me from the urge to text friends. Granted, my dad and sister both had their phones, so if they were needed in an emergency we would have had a means to get help.
I had no internet access the entire vacation — I could have, of course, having brought my iPod Touch (for music purposes only, and I only had it turned on during our flights to and from the mainland), but I chose not to. Facebook could wait. I could hold off looking at my email for a while longer, even though I was eagerly waiting for replies for two short stories I submitted to magazines right before I left for Hawaii. I also did not bring a watch of any sort — I haven’t worn a wrist watch since high school, although I occasionally wear one of my pocket watches.
Leaving all this behind — internet, cell phone, a watch — made my vacation a better experience. It is how vacations should be. The world could have ended and, since I didn’t read or watch (or go looking for) anything in the form of news — be it printed or on television — I wouldn’t have known it was ending until it happened. Not that I believe all the doomsday nonsense anyway.
Remember: if you have urges to write or wake up in the middle of the night with a handful of ideas for an upcoming story, you can solve any dilemmas by bringing a few pens and a notebook.
The next time you’re on vacation…let go, enjoy, relax, take photos, and if you need to share your experiences with your friends and relatives, you should consider sending a postcard or two — and resist hopping on the internet or grabbing your cell phone. The news can wait. Your friends can wait. The world can wait. You’re on vacation.
Besides, you can’t hang a text on the ‘fridge.