Finally, my vacation time had arrived!! Yes, here I was packing my suitcase, with some nice newly bought bikinis and pretty dresses, sun protection cream and aftersun balm, sun glasses and a girly hat. I was good to go, just the basics, I wanted it to be a stress free vacation and while packing I was thinking of what else it was that important to have with me for the next 10 days and what I could try, challenging myself, not to bring along, try to stay without and see if they were that pivotal to my daily life or just a stress creator.
So I did, this vacation was all about time with myself and my companions , the friends that we had chosen to spend our precious time with, to talk to each other, enjoying a glass of wine and good food, but also story telling about everyday experiences, looking at the falling stars or searching for new historic sites, all of this while we were face to face. It is hard these days to get such a chance and I did not want to spoil it, I wanted to be in the “NOW” and I wanted to make it special and unrepeatable, I was in need to be there with my mind and body.
Then the question came back to my mind, what else can I take out from my suitcase? What could distract me? I did not have the answer so I closed my bag and gone I was towards my free time with my friends.
Already meeting up at the airport was a pleasure, it was a vacation that started from the beginning of the travelling not from the arrival to the location, we liked everything whistle moaning about everything, flight delays, lousy airport food , too cold or too hot , what ever …..as long we were together sharing it all.
Then, all of a sudden I did appreciate that I had not checked on my emails, WhatsApp messages, voice mail, several apps and all the rest of my tech suite that I carry around, always, even when on vacation. I started hysterically checking in my bag, wondering what had happen to the digital me, the always connected person and my several on-line profiles that we all have nowadays. Once found my tech suite, I realised that not much was going on, all very quite, no stress around ….. WOW what a win, shall I continue ? shall I give myself a specific slot time to check my digital life ? So I did, I started to slowly, mentally disconnecting and my mind- vacation really kicked in.
I unearthed what free time really means, I discovered the benefits of enjoying the NOW, forgetting about tomorrow and future planning and yesterdays’ unmanaged issues, I realised what it means to wake up to take pictures at the sunrise, just for the pleasures to watch the sunrise or to watch the falling stars while thinking of your wish. I appreciated again the perception of time and what I could do with it NOW, the length of the day and the importance of the face to face chats with my friends. We did trips that were not planned , we saw things that we had no idea that we were going to see, none of us had done any pre-booking, advanced researched, read on- line reviews, we just went on with the time and appreciate what life had to offer that single day.
We talked about everything, the goods and the bad, the hey days and the crappy ones, our successes but also, we shared our burning failures, hoping to have grabbed some good advices on how to overcome them or turn them into opportunity or learning sessions. I was incredibly pleased to understand that my need to check the status of the digital – me was less and less relevant, less pressing , less demanding and more of this was happening, the more free head space I was creating, to relax and re-invigorate for the way back from our vacation that was approaching. The space that I was trying to create in my suitcase does not take any material space, that space is more a space of mind freedom, owing your time and priorities , so that you have time to follow your flow of thoughts, the attention spam goes to what is important and the time for me, myself and my friends becomes and stays unique.
With sadness the vacation days are over and I am back at my desk , managing myself with more head free space plus the digital me, looking at the pictures that I took together with my friends, while happy memories keep flowing in my head. I am sure that in today’ s world it is impossibile to live with out having an online presence, the opportunities that being connected brings to our lives, are incommensurable and missing out from them would be a great lost, I would miss all my daily connected activities. However also the joy to re-discover time for the NOW, being there not only physically and not seeking to be anywhere else but just being there and make it happen, what ever life offers you that special day, makes that day unrepeatable. It was not meant, I did not plan all of this, it just happen on the go, but having perceived the opportunity, I took it so I could verify if a stress free vacation was really achievable and for me this is time it has been such a great discovery.
breath in, breath out
….by the way I did not pack any books, I was busy living the NOW , but bought a couple of goods ones for the shorter and darker days.