i was excited to visit portugal for many reasons, from the scenery to the wine to the company, but i was also excited about a week off the grid. i sometimes struggle with always being connected, with always being reachable, and i needed some time away from email and social media and news alerts to refresh a little.
portugal offered a great opportunity for doing just that, since my phone doesn’t work in europe and would be on airplane mode for the majority of the trip anyway. i went a step further and told my family and friends that i would not be connecting to wi-fi, would not be posting to instagram or facebook, and would not be responding to messages until i touched back on u.s. soil, and for the most part i was able to stick to that.
i connected to the wi-fi at our first flat in lisbon to let my parents and brother know i had landed and to get an update from ellie and ben on their travel schedule. i logged on briefly in sintra to message our airbnb host in porto with our updated arrival time. and i connected again in peniche to notify our host in lisbon of what time we would reach the following day. other than that, however, i kept my phone on airplane mode, let my out-of-office respond to all work emails, and enjoyed a week away from the real world. it was exactly what i wanted – a proper holiday with no distractions – and it forced me to make some changes to my connectivity once i returned home.
here’s hoping i can make this a regular vacation occurrence from now on. it was so refreshing to be out of touch for a little while, and i look forward to doing so again.