I was sat next to my 8 year old daughter on our 10 hour flight to Mexico.
As we climbed above the London cloud I felt that wonderful feeling as we left London behind, and all that goes with our daily/weekly routine of work, school, running a business, running the house.....making decisions!
There is something special about the few hours between waving your bags off at check in, and arriving at your destination. The knowledge that you have assembled all your necessary (and a number of unnecessary!) belongings for your trip, tied up your loose ends at home, successfully transported both your luggage and all your family to the airport.........and now you just have your partner and the little people to be responsible for, and the few items (if only!) of hand luggage!
There's some sense of perfection about having your whole holiday in front of you. It's complete, untainted, like an unwrapped present. The anticipation of what lies ahead, the satisfaction of what you've left behind.......ah, those magical few hours!
As we jetted up above the London skyline and headed for the clouds in search of a glimpse of elusive English sunshine, my daughter gazed out of the window.
"I can just imagine myself sitting there Daddy, floating on those clouds.......they look so white and fluffy?"
We've all had those thoughts at some time in our life, whether old or young, as we gaze outside an airplane window and imagine floating on a white fluffy cloud, but there's something a little bit magical about sharing that vision with your daughter (or son, or grandchildren).
I felt an emphatic deep sigh of contentment.........this was holiday. Sharing a whimsical moment, transported to an imaginary place high above the "real" world below with my daughter.......albeit in the confines of a 747 heading to Cancun. It was though, just me and her, a quiet little private trip to a fantasy world. At this stage in my life this is what holiday is about, sharing special moments with loved ones. The phones were off, the in flight entertainment not yet begun, and the devices were in the overhead compartments. Just the two of us, chatting.
Now, don't think for a minute that was the story of my whole two week holiday.......I can imagine all you parents reading this scoffing (or enthusiastically mocking.....or worse!). It did however, reinforce my desire to leave regular life at home and enjoy a genuine holiday away with my family.
I had my laptop with me and intended on working at some point, writing some material, doing research, a little bit of study.
As I floated on the cloud with my daughter however, I made my decision to dismiss any idea of work. I took my own advice and left business at home and looked ahead to an extremely rare two weeks of family time.
Fortunately, our corner of Mexico had very poor phone coverage unless you wanted to pay daily fees so it wasn't difficult to cut myself off from phone calls, texts, whatsapp messages and emails.
My advice to you if you still have holiday time left? Switch the phone off.....I don't mean, put it away, or turn it to silent. Turn it from "on" to "off", or switch airplane mode on! Just try it, for 24 hours.
It may not be that your checking in on work, but you will be emailing, texting, even sending whatsapp messages to your group of mates at home.
Holidays are about getting out of your routine, doing things differently. Even your social life takes it's toll on you. Get off Facebook, your friends don't need to know your every move, every meal you have while on holiday! Try a little mindfulness......live in your moment.......relaaaaaax!
It will do wonders for your piece of mind......and, ultimately for your business too!
Have a great holiday!!
p.s. I'm home now!