Some thoughts on travelling with work… not jetting off to exciting destinations with your job (which is really rather lovely especially when it looks like this) but rather on travelling with your laptop or, indeed, not.
As I packed hand luggage for one night in the New Forest last week I made the decision to leave the laptop at home. I would love to tell you that this was a deliberate move with my health and wellbeing at the helm of the decision committee but truthfully it was dictated by baggage allowance and weight restrictions. The result, however, was the same.
At the airport I ventured into the forgotten world of the book shop and spent some time selecting what I was certain would be an easy read without being a sappy, uninteresting romance novel… based purely on the cover because that’s just how I roll. And I read that book. Cover to cover in twenty-four hours. I mean, I still had my phone glued to my hand for what felt like an inordinate amount of time and I, along with the super sweet Shloka, snapped over two hundred photos on my DSLR and it is not as if we were there to lounge by a pool (although you could be forgiven for thinking that) and I chatted the bestest girl chats and took workshops and yet I read that book. Granted it was not War and Peace, it was Dear Mrs Bird if you were wondering and, whilst not my favourite ever book, it was certainly enjoyable, but I read the whole damn thing. Remember that feeling decades ago when you started reading proper grown up novels and you were truly so chuffed when you finished one? Yeah, that.
The lesson though was that time can be better spent than working every moment of the day. Now do not get me wrong, I love a flight and the volume of editing and planning I can achieve high in the sky, but there is something to be said for taking time off, leaving work behind and focusing on the task in hand. It is not lost on me that this was technically a ‘work trip’ but it truly felt far, far from it (no doubt helped immensely by the complete lack of any useful phone signal which, it turned out, was a blessing).
And now, as I embark on packing for a few days in Portugal, my worker bee brain and my wellbeing brain are engaged in something of a quarrel. Aside from answering emails efficiently and editing blog images, we would be without Netflix (thinking about the big issues here today friends). But would that be so bad? Would that perhaps be even better? To focus for four whole days on family and fun and, dare I even suggest it, relaxation. I think I know the answer.
So I urge you to try it. Even if it is not a laptop dependency you are impaired by, perhaps leave your phone in your pocket the next time you take the train or the bus, do not binge watch the new tv series next time you have an evening to yourself. Cook a great meal, phone a friend, ask your husband how his day was or, heck, throw caution to the wind and read a book.
Now tell me, which book should I read next? (After the second half of my ‘buy one get one half price’ pair from the airport. I can do it. I can read it on a four day holiday with an eleven month old. I believe in myself. But if I don’t that will be just fine with me too).
Photos by Shloka.