No, this is not in reference to what you hear when you call Tech support. It is rather a metaphor for taking long vacations. As a seasoned professional vacation seeker, I can guarantee you that nothing is more yummy and good for us humans (and other species, as I shall demonstrate below) than taking a long vacation. The vacation should be so long, that when you return, people prompt you with comments like “wow, it’s been a while” or even “Dude, what are those silly braids in your hair”.
If you don’t hear those two sentences or any variation of them, then your vacation wasn’t long enough.
You see, when you travel something happens aside from the airline making money off of you. You carry a big part of you to the world and in exchange, the world gives you a part of theirs that fills the missing pieces in you.
It is not by a stroke of luck that humans share this behavior with the animal kingdom. In his infinite wisdom, God almighty instilled in us the same behavior, the same exchange and the benefits that happen with animals moving across the planet.
Let’s consider birds as an example: They migrate to more moderately tempered areas when it gets too hot or too cold, they help the ecosystem in the land they visit and in exchange, they get the nutrition necessary to return to their land of origin to grow the ecosystem there.
Sounds familiar? No! Not only does this sound similar, it is also exactly the same thing when it comes to us homo sapiens.
Traveling, in my mind, is as essential as anything else. As an avid reader (not flexing, but it’s true), I have found that experiencing others in their element for a mere hour, can have the benefit of reading a dozen books. Culture is a melting pot, and the ingredients, in my book (I read this one too) are: Experiences, Preferences, Belief, Tradition and Hosting.
When you adventure into a new land, you are immersed into that culture, and yours becomes a way for you to interpret the culture you are experiencing. In turn, this experience becomes a benchmark for you to drop the notions you were questioning, and adopting ideas that you deem are more “you”.
On your return back home, you can dispel that information to doubtful others, which in return helps the population grow beyond its geographical borders.
While the length of a vacation that any given person may consider to be “long” is very subjective, we can all agree that the moment you start feeling satisfied, content and ready to go back to your routine is the moment in time when your vacation is considered to be long enough.
We often forget that we are citizens of the world first, then our countries second. And in that perspective we should learn how to be very versatile. We should want to coexist with others in their element, locale and culture, while preserving our own identity. With an exchange so inclusive as this, everyone benefits.
Traveling helps us achieve that. While all of us may understand the “restart and connect again” concept of recharging one’s mental batteries, I personally found out recently that I was one of so many that got the “disconnect” part all wrong.
Disconnecting should not be about forgetting about everything. On the contrary, disconnecting should be more about forgetting how you would look at everything around you, and using a different perspective to assess one’s life. When we’re outside our element, we drop the negativity that is built in to it, and we are able to assess our choices, career, projects in a totally new light. That, to me, is the real disconnection act.
Otherwise, if we truly forget what we are dealing with, and pin it to be dealt with upon return, then you risk of experiencing a massive downer which will ultimately make the vacation experience a hideous one towards its inevitable end, as it reminds you of what awaits back home.
Should you still be in doubt, let me explain it with a real example: I figured out this entire methodology of thinking, and subsequently this article, as I am at this moment sitting on a beach in Turkey, looking around me and trying to come up with a way not to feel awful when I return to my home in beautiful Kuwait.
If that isn’t problem solving by disconnecting, then I don’t know what is!