When I recently traveled to Alaska, I made the mistake of bringing my cell phone with me. And thus, my escape from Los Angeles was routinely interrupted with calls that never let me totally disconnect and fully lose myself in my vacation.
It was the first exotic trip I’ve taken with cell phone in tow, but in the last five years I’ve also failed to sever that connection by visiting Internet bars and checking my email. One trip, in fact, was partially ruined when I found out through email that my company had canceled raises for the year –- not something you want to hear while on an expensive vacation!
Leaving your communication gadgets at home and disconnecting from the stress and worries which led you to vacation in the first place is the theme of a recent article by Susan Brink. Not surprisingly, I found it in the Health section of the LA Times instead of the Travel section.
Brink confirms what I’ve known now for the last five years; staying in constant contact with work and home while at the same time trying to escape from this very thing by going on vacation can undermine the very rest and relaxation which motivated you to go on vacation in the first place. In fact, it might even increase your amount of stress.
Brink sums it up nicely; “a large body of research shows that chronic stress is bad, that multi-tasking on interconnected gizmos can increase stress and that vacations are stress relievers.” She then refers to a study that reveals 39% of people on vacation check their work emails.
If you’re one of these unlucky souls, check out the article and discover the disservice you are doing yourself. If, on the other hand, the thought of being disconnected from work and out of the loop strikes job-security fear in your heart, you just might be screwed either way you slice it.