Offline vakantie, jouw digitale detox!

Why we really need to let go
Looking for real adventure? Here we go! This time, not a trek over the mountains, but we're embarking on a more challenging path: the journey to complete "digital disconnection." Relaxation is closer than you think, and even though you're reading this on a screen... I'll take you through a digital detox.
Ivo Nijboer

When was the last time you truly took a vacation without the buzz of work emails or app notifications? According to a study, a whopping 39% couldn’t remember when they last enjoyed an uninterrupted two-week vacation. That’s almost 4 in 10 people! These numbers are not just concerning; they’re also risky. Both for the individual and the company they work for. Rest is essential to prepare for future challenges.

Many of us find it hard to completely detach from work. And that’s understandable. The fear of losing control, an endless to-do list, or the fast pace of work — especially after recent pandemic changes — have kept many of us in a constant state of ‘presence.’

offline vakantie

The research also provides other revealing figures. Did you know that 31% of people stayed online during their last long vacation? And that only a measly 18% of managers in 30 European countries always turn off their business devices during vacation?

This points to an alarming trend. We’re not taking our vacations seriously. We physically take a step back, but mentally, we remain connected, tethered to our devices and responsibilities.

So, how do we break this cycle?

The answer is simple, but executing it can be complicated. We need to learn to let go. Not just for our own well-being, but also for the overall success of our workplace. Managers play a crucial role here by promoting a culture of rest and recovery. Employees should feel free to turn off their devices and truly focus on their recovery.

So, I really urge you to consider going offline the next time you take a vacation. Dive into a book, spend time with your loved ones, explore new places without the constant pressure of notifications. It’s not just an opportunity to recharge your batteries, but also to reflect and renew.

Recently, my family and I celebrated a unique vacation. Now, you might be wondering, “What made this vacation so different?” Well, we decided to go on a ‘digital detox.’ Yes, you read that right! No emails, no social media, and — brace yourself — no news updates.

out of office

Why a digital detox?

Day in, day out, I felt an incessant pressure from notifications and messages. The continuous buzzing and vibrating of my phone became an unbearable background noise. It’s called “ringxiety.”

What is ringxiety?

Ringxiety is the anxiety that arises from the mistaken belief that someone’s mobile phone is ringing or vibrating.

If you experience that, believe me, you want to get away for a while. And I found no better way to do that than by going completely offline on vacation!

How do you start an offline vacation?

It all starts with a decision and the right mindset. We brought along books, maps, board games, and drawing materials. The laptops stayed at home, and on our phones, we removed all unnecessary apps and notifications. But most importantly was the willingness to truly disconnect and embrace the moment.

The first few days were certainly challenging and are indeed the biggest challenge of being offline. The allure of updates and news was very strong. But soon enough, I realized the abundance of free time I had — time to read, to walk, and most importantly, genuine quality moments with my family.

What did I learn from celebrating an offline vacation?

This journey not only offered us a welcome break but also valuable insights. Without constant digital interruptions, we were both more present and had more time for each other. We listened more attentively, shared more, and found more satisfaction in the simple things in life.

digitale detox

If you’re still reading this blog, then I still have your interest. So, dear adventurer, if you ever have the chance, definitely embark on your own offline adventure. Step out of the digital hustle and bustle and rediscover what truly matters. It will be an experience you cherish. Start with offline walks, cycling, or fishing, and then try offline camping.

And remember: adventure is not just found in distant lands, but also in the conscious choice to be fully present. Turn off that phone and live!

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