December 2016

How I control my social media when I travel (without disconnecting completely)

I love social media - but I am becoming more aware that social media has a dark side - it can so easily take you away from what you’re doing, especially when you’re travelling.  So I thought I would share my tips for making sure social media enhances your trip instead of pulling you away from it.

Don't cave in to free WiFi

When you’re travelling you’re probably taking some pretty amazing photos for Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc. The kind of photos that tend to get lots of likes and comments. It’s hard to resist the desire to check your phone and get the instant gratification it gives to see the notifications pop up.

One thing that I noticed overseas was that lots of places have free WiFi - museums, coffee shops, galleries - and I found it really hard to resist the urge to check my Instagram every time we were in one of these places.

I’ve mentioned before how important it is to disconnect in order to prioritise self care when you’re on holidays and this is an important part of that disconnect.

Don't edit on the go

Although it’s tempting to immediately go and edit the awesome photo you just took so you can share it on Instagram but please wait until you are back at your accommodation. Firstly this will allow you a chance to slowly go through the photos of the day and help imprint the memories forever. Secondly it prevents you from ignoring your friend, lover or your surroundings because you’re too busy selecting the perfect filter.

Choose your time to use the internet

As I mentioned above - a lot of places have free wifi these days; cafes, museums, galleries and of course any accommodation worth it’s salt has wifi these days.  And that’s awesome - but use this access wisely. Decide the times that you are going to connect to the internet and take mini internet detoxes in between.

I like to stay off of the internet in the morning and only connect in the afternoon. Normally by that stage I need some unthinking scrolling time and I find it strangely pleasurable to deny myself internet access with the promise of unbridled access later.

Use a hashtag

I know it sounds strange but having a hashtag for your travels is a great way to keep all your memories in one place. I love going back and seeing all the photos I took on our honeymoon - and they’re conveniently all linked together by the hashtag #lawrancehoneymoon. Jordan of Oh Happy Day is particularly awesome at coming up with amazing hashtags for her travels with her family.

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo


Why it's important to prioritise self care when you travel

Self care is really important if you are travelling for any length of time. It will help you to keep up your energy levels so you can actually enjoy your adventures.

Drink Water

This is really important - when I’m on holidays its a habit that always seems to fall by the wayside. Unless you want your skin to get flaky and to feel tired all the time of course. Keep a water bottle handy whenever you can and just remember to occasionally take a pull from it.

Exercise

Now before you panic - by exercise I don’t mean pack your gym clothes and go for a run every day - unless you want to. All I mean is do something active on purpose. Stretch in your hotel room or walk or go for a swim.

Take time to rest

The longer the trip the more important it becomes to make time to lounge in your hotel room, take a bath and read or nap for awhile. You may think travel is relaxing but being places where you don't know the language, have to deal with problems that you don't easily know how to find the answer to and even the simple fact you don't get to go back to your own house at the end of the day take a toll that adds up over the weeks.

Use Your Brain

Inevitably when you are on holidays you will get bored. You don’t think that you will because you’re somewhere magical but inevitably you’re on a train for six hours or you’re in your hotel room and you aren’t tired enough for a nap but you really need to rest your feet.

When this happens be ready to entertain yourself - and what’s even better is this is a great chance to do all the things that you don’t have time for in your normal life - read, listen to podcasts, learn a language, write a novel.

Disconnect

Can I tell you a story? Mike and I were standing in the Acropolis museum looking at the Caryatids which are these incredible statues of women - incredible because they managed to hold up a temple for thousands of years without the women having necks resembling that of the All Blacks. Essentially - not a moment to ever forget.

Around us a bunch of American teenagers milled. All of them were on their phones or complaining about being in a museum and it was truly depressing to see - how awful that this genuine wonder of the Ancient World was less interesting than Snapchat.

Please please please switch off, disconnect, put your phone away on holidays. These are moments that you cannot get back. They are not the same as the moments where you are standing in line at the grocery store or on your commute. They are truly precious.

Photo courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo