A vacation is a tool for disconnecting

I’m reflecting1 on travelogue’ing my recent trip to Disneyland. In particular, that it was effective at taking my mind off work while maintaining creative writing and publishing habits.

Lately, I find myself dwelling on work too much or noodling through various puzzles I’m trying to solve. I would rather not bring that with me on vacation. What I removed and what I replaced those thoughts with went pretty well! For my own memory, and perhaps dear reader’s benefit:

Allow plenty of moments to just exist. Listen, enjoy where you are. Engage with the folks you’re vacationing with, presuming they’re not in a phone-bubble. Try to put the phone away after you mindlessly open it out of boredom. Cultivate the moments of boredom, if you can.

Don’t look at feeds like Slack, Discord, socials, etc. I took the extra step of removing Slack from my phone entirely. It’s easier to remove it entirely and re-add each Slack later than to try to ignore particular instances whenever I find myself mindlessly opening the app. Read a lot, ideally longer form things chosen beforehand. Again: ignore the feeds of people hustling or trying to get their ideas into my attention. Think your own thoughts!

Replace all those feeds and work-think with written and photographic journaling. Look for photography opportunities, even if you’re not particularly good at it (yet). Write in a journal, daily, even if you’re not good at it (yet). Write about what you’ve photographed, about whatever you’re thinking while disconnected, about that conversation you just had or the novel thing you just saw/did.

If you want to share via social networks, do it once a day. I posted (via micro.blog and Ulysses) a short reflection on each day. For texture, I included a quad of photos, and wrote a few sentences to reflect on my photography or day so far. Once the post is made, put the computer away and get back to reveling in disconnection.

YMMV, but I hope you try it!

  1. With apologies to Craig Mod for standing on the shoulders of A Walk is a Platform for Creative Work↩︎

Adam Keys @therealadam