My Epic Unplug Failure

In entrepreneurs, Family by Marijo Cuerrier

unpluggedAround the second anniversary of running my own business, I realized that although I had been away a few times in the past two years, I truly had not taken time away from the day-to-day of being an entrepreneur. My youngest daughter recently settled in the Gulf Islands, just West of Vancouver so I booked a trip to spend some much needed time away from my computer – connecting not only with my daughter but with myself.

The weeks leading up to my scheduled trip were a whirlwind of long days, late nights and complete neglect of my home life, while I prepared to extract myself from a number of ongoing projects. Things didn’t go as scheduled and in the end, I found myself scrambling to find hours in the day that didn’t exist. But I managed to get up at 2:30 am this past Thursday morning to have my hubby escort me to the airport, laptop-in-backpack – only to finish up a few last minute commitments on the flight and then it was going away for 13 days.

Turns out there was no wifi on the first flight. Now those last minute commitments hung between me and my unplugged destination like a great barrier reef.  “There was still time,” I told myself. I hopped on my connecting flight, hopeful it would have wifi. We were in the air for all of 14 minutes – no  wifi.

I had one more window of opportunity – the cafe where I was meeting my daughter – she wouldn’t be there for 2 hours. I could work until then. So I did. Feverishly firing out proofs, wireframes, approval emails, answers and explanations to client questions. She arrived on time – just as I fired out my last email. Computer closed – a few niggling things hung dangerously on the edges of my mind. But I promised myself I would not ruin this holiday so I pushed them away and hoped I still had clients when I arrived back from the wilderness.

A few hours later, we boarded the ferry to Salt Spring Island as I watched the bars on my phone go from 4 to 3 to 2 to No Service. For the next 48 hours, I collapsed into a world with no cell reception, let alone wifi connection of any kind. Do you know what that means? No GPS. No texting. No “I’ll Google it”. No weather forecast. No Email. No Facebook. OH MY GOD! And to top it off our accommodation included the use of a communal outhouse… for 2 nights!

Needless to say, 2 days later, as we headed off the island, back to civilization, I managed to:

  1. Lock the keys in our borrowed car just as we were to board the ferry.
  2. Hunt down a generic male to help my break into the car, only for him to saunter over and say, “Um, you know your window’s wide open, right?”
  3. And to top it off, once we did get onto the ferry, as I climbed out of the window on the drivers side (door was broken), I honked loudly with my ass while onlookers shook their heads at this poor, obviously traumatized woman, trying to figure out how to do life without her devices.

Now I am safe, on Galiano Island for the remainder of my trip, with a good wifi connection, a view of the great outdoors from a cozy desk and my running shoes by the door. I have tried to do the unplugged thing cold turkey, but I think a safer bet is to just slow down.

Over and out. See you in 11 days.