I sure hope you’re reading this post in a swimming costume, sitting by the pool with a cool drink in your hand. Because get with it, folks: Summer is here! It’s time to hit the boardwalks, the bars, the beaches. It’s time to get away! So start packing your suitcase: sunscreen, swim trunks, snorkel, flip-flops, laptop, iPhone, iPad … wait a minute, wasn’t this supposed to be a vacation?
On one hand, where do you feel more inspired than kicking back on a chaise lounge in the sand, with a frozen adult beverage preferably close by? On the other hand, what’s the point of spending money or frequent-flyer miles to get away from it all if you’re not going to, you know, get away from all? Here are three big factors to consider:
- Solo or family? If you’re traveling with a special someone, he or she is not going to find it very romantic when they look over to ask, “is that a stunning sunset or what, honey?” and you respond with a “hmm? Oh yeah, gorgeous,” while your fingers tap out a beat or your thumbs scroll on down the Twitter feed. On the other hand, if you’re traveling with children, the fun may be laced with chaos, and a moment collecting your thoughts on your laptop might not sound so bad (and let’s face it, they’re just as likely to bring their gadgets along in order to grab their own moments of technology-enabled “me time”).
- Lounging or trekking? If you’re covering as much ground as possible to see the sights, then blogging (especially photo-blogging) might be exceptionally fun for you and interesting for your readers. If your aim is total decompression, then the more you leave behind (physically and mentally) the better. The paradox, as I glanced on above, is that this down-time state of mind can result in some of your best ideas. If you’ve ever meditated, you know that the best way to produce a whole lot of thoughts is to attempt to stop thinking at all: they just come racing along. Persistently letting those thoughts come and go without clinging to them takes discipline, and provides bountiful psychic rewards. But who knows, it might be that a genuine “Eureka” moment comes along. This is also why inspiration comes when you’d rather be going to sleep (even after a long, dry day of trying) or in the shower. Consider going low-tech: try just bringing a notebook and journaling the old-fashioned way: if what you’ve written still seems urgently awesome when you get home, all you have to do is type it up.
- Business or pleasure? People blog for different reasons. If you’re doing it primarily in a professional context, you really ought to consider giving yourself a break. If it’s a pursuit you’re passionate about and actively want to be doing whenever possible … well, then, more power to you, just try to keep the sand out of your electronic gear. If it’s somewhere in-between, as is the case with many of us entrepreneurial and creative types online, it becomes a difficult call. Missed opportunity or relaxation spoiler? Think it over honestly, and make sure in the end to do what’s best for IRL-you, not what’s best for internet-you.
Plan your holiday
Whatever sort of vacation you’re on and whatever sort of blogger you are, you need to plan ahead. Make sure you fully utilize WordPress’s ability to schedule posts (look at the Publish box on the top right and Edit where it says “Publish Immediately”) and, otherwise, plan exactly how much of your holiday time should be taken up with business activities and how much should be taken up with relaxation and quality time. And, stick to the plan!
Perfect planning will ensure a pleasurable vacation, happy families and a business that doesn’t go down the tubes in the summer!
What about you?
What do you think? Is staying wired on vacation odious to you, and you’re hoping to find a desert island where they’ve never seen a modem? Or is maintaining your online presence a form of relaxation in itself, and you don’t think there’s anything wrong with that?
This is a guest post from Lauren Bailey. Lauren is a freelance blogger who loves writing about education, new technology, lifestyle and health. As an education writer, she works to research and provide information for those choosing an online college and welcomes comments and questions via email at blauren99 @ gmail.com.