Sunday, August 5, 2012

Travel and Relax Guilt Free!

I've never understood why people feel guilty when they go on vacation. It is a much deserved treat that people oftentimes deny for themselves because they feel they can't afford it; they have other responsibilities, or they feel that if they leave everything will go to shambles.

Every month there are countless magazines and blog postings extolling the virtues of travel as a means to destress. Travel does not necessarily mean somewhere far away, sometimes the best trips can literally be found right in your backyard (i.e. camping in your backyard, or "staycations" at a nice hotel in your city).

I have begun reading a book I picked up a few days ago titled, A Calm Brain: Unlocking Your Natural Relaxation System, by Gayatri Devi, M.D. The book is about relaxation techniques, but one part in particular really stuck out to me. The author discusses how she was eavesdropping on a conversation while she was being held captive, stuck at Brussels airport awaiting her flight departure. During this time, she overheard two gentlemen talking, and in their exchange, the older of the two gentlemen advised the younger gentleman (as they traded each others contact information), that he would be unreachable for a month, as he cuts off all contact while traveling. The older gentleman went on further to say that while it wasn't easy at first, he had to teach people (his coworkers and assistant) that, "People can manage without you...Everyone is dispensable." 

The exchange between the two gentlemen was a wonderful commentary on our society, because the older gentleman admitted (paraphrasing) that while he may not be as successful in the corporate world as others, he felt, "healthy," and "at peace."

I haven't completed the book yet, but that section resonated with me, because even the author admitted that when she first heard the older gentleman explaining how he goes away and cuts himself off from society, that her first thought was that she, "felt sorry for the people he works with," but as she thought about it more, she realized that maybe there was something to that complete disconnection.

Fortunately, I do not suffer from that affliction that most people have of feeling that they are indispensable and are constantly needed. However, even I must admit that I feel a bit lost when I am without my BlackBerry' least initially, but after about twenty-four hours at my destination, I appreciate not having any disturbances and constant ringings and bingings of phone calls and alerts.

Perhaps you may not feel comfortable completely disconnecting while on vacation, but maybe you can take small steps and limit the amount of time you spend checking your emails and listening to voice mail messages. I think your mind, body and spirit will thank you for it.


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