It’s been 3 years since I took a vacation. Since I launched Travel Junkie Diary.
“But you’re always traveling” they say.
Yes, that’s my job and like any other job, I have deliverables, deadlines and emails to respond to. Some may relate to this, taking the perfect shot and out of 500 images, one may or may not work…and repeat…until your eyes feel like they are about to explode out of your head.
Being in flip flops is what generally denotes a vacation for some and most of all for me. I decided to quit social media for 9 days and take a break from looking down at my phone and it was not very easy at first. I needed a real vacation and the only way to be disconnect from the business world and take a summer break, is to be totally disconnected from the internet with no exceptions.
I took the decision to experience everything, physically and mentally before I let anyone else in.
“Nothing external to me should have any power over me”
That’s what I kept repeating in my head
It took a lot of courage not to keep checking my phone for emails and I never in a million years expected that kind of change in my life.
I needed to be able to put my phone away without having the pressure of having enough content for social media, for any articles or anything related to business. I had to lose my phone!
I lost my charger the 3rd day, so that worked out great! Our boat would only have power 30 minutes a day anyway. It was perfect!
9 days, 1 sail boat, 6 different greek islands.
Sailing across the Greek Islands was an adventure family vacation. The only wifi I would have, would be if I were in a restaurant on land and not on the boat, which was only once a day for 1 hour. A huge shift from the world I knew. Sailing is a full time sport. Pulling ropes, reading maps, washing dishes, cooking our own food, having BBQ’s, setting up the sails and sometimes, when the seas where up to 28-30 knots/hour was part of our daily repertoire. At times, I would try not to get sea sick but then, once the sails were up and everything would be perfect for hours and we would sail smoothly.
In the evenings, there would be no one at sea but us. Our boat lights on the top of the sail would be the only light you see…and the trillions of stars right above you.
We were the only ones that mattered.
It was our wonderful adventure and even though it wasn’t easy everyday, even when we would hit rough patches at sea, we adjusted and then, we’re on autopilot from there.
Just like our lives.
But for once, I’ve allowed the direction of the wind to set the pace of my trip, and once I allow mother nature to take control, I had learned to accept.
I had accepted the sleeping conditions under the stars with small opening window in my room, the tiny showers, I had accepted that the course of direction may not be perfectly as planned. I have learned to accept that it’s not always what I expected and when I did, being at sea with no connection to the outside world, I found happiness in every triumph and working throughout my journey to adjust my sails to smooth sailing.
Being disconnected was one decision away from a totally different life.
There are things I learned when sailing across the Greek Islands other than geography.
Living on a sailing boat taught me a lesson. For one, is that we need the very minimal to survive and be happy, but most importantly, that it’s ok to disconnect and life does not end when we stop, breathe and look up.
I was not looking for any answers, because if I would have found them, my search would have been over. Instead, I accepted the things I do not know and the reasons for things that happened in the course of my life.
Disconnecting from social media was one of the best thing I have done for myself. I learned that I needed balance in my life, even from my job that I love so much, I felt proud and excited about everything.
I felt liberated.
“I found an eternal peace in not having to keep up with so much of the outside world and focus on the present”
I realized that it was not my work who needed more hours in the day, it was me and social media who needed time away from each other, even though I kept my private life offline, I had still worked very hard to maintain my engagement high and my presence personal and not commercial, so I learned to control it with a little extra balance, falling back in love with what I do and what better way to do it than sailing across the beautiful Greek Islands with just flip flops and great company!