Inspired after watching a TEDx video this spring by Chris Bailey, I was determined to unplug during my summer vacation.

Here’s my experience after just having returned from that time away.

My Definition of Unplugged

Unplugged can mean different things for different people.

For this vacation it meant turning the switch off my work email, call forwarding my cell phone and disengaging from social media (full disclosure: I did view the Instagram photos my wife showed me of our children and grandchildren on her phone on a couple of occasions) for a full two weeks. 

So that there was no chance that I would act out of habit, I removed the social media apps from my phone.

One of my favorite pastimes is relaxing with a cup of coffee along with a some of my wife’s baking and reading our local and national newspapers on my laptop.

Again, full disclosure…. I did allow myself that indulgence!


The first three or four days of transition from what is always mad dash to try and tie up lose ends before vacation to zero communication, I can best describe as like quitting smoking (although that was almost 30 years ago, I remember that struggle well!).

I’m very fortunate to have a great, highly skilled support team behind me and knew  that everything would be well taken care of in my absence.


I cannot say that the portion of my brain that focusses on business shuts down.

I can tell you that I do think of business strategies from a different perspective. It can be best described as my altered focus and surroundings inspires more creative thought.

After a week away I am more relaxed and experience an even greater appreciation for nature.

We love the mountains and are grateful to live in a country where they are so accessible.


One of my definitions of success is having colleagues I trust in place, to take over my duties during my absence.

I understand that may not be easy for some people to achieve.

If, however, you believe in the benefits of unplugged vacation time as I do, finding a solution to realize that time away, is going to be a priority.

Posted by Barry Stuart


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