I don't remember the last time I've taken two solid weeks off from work. That is - ten days in a row uninterrupted by work - not a "stay-cation" where I end up doing chores and tackling home projects.
My husband and I got married in November last year and even that we did on a Monday at the courthouse and then went back to work the next day. Don't get me wrong, it was romantic to elope and took a lot of pressure off from wedding planning, which I appreciated. We decided to plan a real honeymoon/vacation for this year and chose Croatia.
Bol on Island of Brac, Croatia
Unable to get cell phone reception in some areas, I was forced to disconnect from the Internet, email, and Instagram in a way I don't think I have since college. And I didn't necessarily plan it that way.
I fully intended to check email and Instagram every day even though I had left Jean Franklin in good hands with my team here in Los Angeles, you know, just "in case" something were to come up while I was out.
But after two plane flights and about 14 hours of travel, I had no choice but to rest and get used to the time difference. During the first couple days of our trip, we soaked in the natural beauty of the country we found ourselves in, adapted to the humidity and enjoyed the warm evenings and amazing oceanside.
It took me the first couple of days into the trip to fully acknowledge to myself that we had travelled to celebrate, relax and experience the culture and food around us, not to spend the days mindlessly staring at my phone being "productive". While I did take quite a few photos to remember the trip (and posted some stories on Instagram), for the majority of the trip, my phone stayed in my purse. I rarely checked email, and for once spent the time being present.
It took several days to finally feel relaxed (I struggle from some anxiety and am constantly thinking about what task I need to accomplish next). But once I was able to truly feel calm and be ok with literally doing nothing except enjoying our time, then the best part of all happened - I started to feel inspired. Inspiration came from the Dalmatian countryside, the heat, the sea green ocean, fresh cherries, tomato and cucumber salads, antique embroidery on pillows, and the ancient buildings and cities we traversed through.
I'm back in LA and as I work hard like all of you, to make my dreams a reality and create a sustainable business that puts people and the planet first, I remind myself of what I learned on my recent trip - take the time to unplug and enjoy the mundane, simple things in life. If you can't commit to doing it daily, force yourself to go camping or hiking, pick a place you know you can't connect to the Internet, take a deep breath, and see what happens.