How do you enjoy your vacation better?  It’s simple really… turn off your wi-fi.  Or in my case, it was having a phone with broken wi-fi and being on vacation with little to no cell phone service.

I have been on vacation this past week touring around to various spots in the mountains of North Carolina.  Our first stop was Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel & Casino, which is a mini Vegas hotel and casino plopped down in the middle of nowhere.  It was awesome and I seriously can’t wait to go back.  Our second stop was the historic Grove Park Inn and Spa in Asheville.  Hands down the best spa I have ever been to. Our third and final stop was a lake house at Lake Lure, where we met some friends for the long holiday weekend.  Ahhh, a much needed vacation.

Golf_HarrahsSequoyahNational   CherokeeGiantIndian

It’s not a huge shock that you don’t get good reception in the mountains, but I wasn’t used to not having wi-fi.  It had just broke on my phone a week or so before we left and I didn’t have time to get it fixed before hand. Since I was going on vacation, I wasn’t too worried about it.  My broken wi-fi ended up being such a blessing.  It helped slow me down.  I have read dozens of articles about relaxing and “unplugging” from the buzz of the Internet/email/social media world….but I didn’t appreciate the value of this until I was forced to do so.

I would be embarrassed to know the number of times I login to Facebook a day.  Add in other social media like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. and I’m sure the number is rediculous. Now, don’t get me wrong…I LOVE social media.  There were plenty of times on my vacay when I wanted to check in, post a photo or check in on my social media accounts….but no wi-fi and no 4G service on my iPhone.  Oh well.  This made the times I was actually able to login online successfully that much more enjoyable.

GroveParkInnandSpaLunch  GroveParkSpa Pool

Every morning, I normally wake up and the first thing I do is grab my phone to check emails, news, my social media account, my client’s social media accounts….and of course Facebook included.  I had no service in the hotel rooms or lake house we stayed at, so no early phone checking for me.  It was sort of nice to be free of all of the Internet chatter and sit in my own thoughts pondering on the day ahead.  There were a few times when not being able to “log on” drove me crazy.  I wanted to check the weather, I wanted to look up a restaurant or attraction near where we were staying, etc. It was a little strange at times.  I mean, what in the world did we do before cell phone and wi-fi and all of these little computers we carry around now?  It really wasn’t that long ago and I can’t even imagine life without them now.

When we were out and about for the day and finally in cell service range I was able get online and share photos of  what we were doing on our vacay, glance at emails to make sure there were no work emergencies, check that weather forecast…and of course, Facebook to see what everyone else was up to.  It was like Christmas when those little cell service bars showed up on my cell phone.

All in all, I have had a great week long, relaxing vacation.  And a lot of this I can give thanks to not being glued to my iPhone the whole time.

aMaggieValley_NCMountains   aLakeLureMemorialWeekend

The reality is my life will be back to the hustle and bustle of things tomorrow. I will be back home with full cell service and I am replacing my broken wi-fi phone. I can’t really run my business without being able to constantly be plugged in…but, I did learn a lesson from all of this:

When on vacation…..turn off your wi-fi.

Heather Johnson - The Creative Stack