Why hello there! It’s been rather quiet chez LMW Edits this summer, and I’m quite proud and grateful to say that it’s because I’ve both been busier than ever before with clients and lucky enough to have been able to take a couple of amazing trips. As a result, I’ve been trying to balance staying connected enough to nurture my business and care for my clients while at the same time remaining present in the moments I get to experience out in the world.
My first trip made the choice for me: it was to a very remote location with only satellite communications, which did not work at all. Fortunately, the trip operator had communicated clearly that we should not expect internet access during our stay and had advised those with pressing needs to bring a satellite phone, so I was mentally prepared for this possibility!
I cannot emphasize enough how powerful and important I found the experience of being disconnected to be. The initial few hours were a little bit rough – I felt weirdly adrift (even though I had books on my Kindle and a needlepoint project to work on) and realized with no small amount of shame how many minutes I usually kill throughout the day. I also fretted because I couldn’t tell my husband we’d arrived safely, something I always do whenever I travel (to relax, I fell back on the mantra of “no news is good news”)! But, I didn’t have a choice, and I quickly realized that having the cord cut for me gave me an incredible amount of mental freedom. All those minutes I would have been mindlessly scrolling through something became minutes of thinking, looking, and experiencing. I spent a lot more time in my own head than I’m used to, and worked out quite a few things. I came back refreshed in a much more different way than I feel after, say, a beach vacation – but a way I hope to be able to replicate in the future!
On my second trip, I struck a different balance. This time we were headed for Europe, so I knew that I’d have all the access I wanted. My business phone has an unlimited plan from T-Mobile, which includes unlimited texting and 2G internet access around the world. I find this perfect for traveling: it’s enough to be able to stay in contact with your group, use maps, and check email, but man, that 2G speed makes it really difficult to want to peruse social media or the web in general!
The real debate for me is always whether or not to bring my laptop. I hate doing anything more than quick emails on my phone or ipad, so if I’m going to try to be productive at all I need to bring it. In the end, I did use it on both trips, mostly while sitting in airport lounges, but I question if I would have felt less pressure if I had just decided ahead of time that anything requiring a laptop just wasn’t going to get done.
I hope you’re enjoying your summer and any travel opportunities you have!