For the first time ever, I gave in to the pressure from my better half and agreed not to take my computer on vacation with me this year. A decision that proved hard to make as, also for the first time since starting my own business 15 years ago, we went away for 14 rather than 7 days.

Anyway, I cheated and smuggled my BlackBerry in the camera bag (one of those over the shoulder slingshot-backpack style Lowepro ones) which would at least ensure email contact and the odd bit of web browsing while hiding from the family.

Or at least that was the plan.

Unfortunately, I have discovered that the inhabitants of North Wales, or at least the bit of the Snowdonia National Park where we were staying (a 600 year old cottage, complete with bats and a ghost, in the middle of a forest half way up a mountain) don't have the luxury of mobile phone signals.

I have managed to get by while on myriad press trips to weird and wonderful locations all over the globe, even finding an Internet Cafe in a remote jungle village in Kenya much to my surprise a few years back, but North Wales got the best of me.

I was totally cut off for all but a few hours of my holiday, got the best signal from the summit of Mount Snowdon at 1000 metres above sea level but having climbed up there was too knackered to make use of it other than to send an email to my father-in-law to wish him happy birthday before crashing for an hour and climbing back down again.

The point being, that I have never thought of myself as being addicted to the Internet as such, but this experience has made me re-evaluate this. I now think that I am addicted to connectivity, be that email, mobile phone or web, I need something to get by. Far from being relaxing, I found myself getting increasingly stressed out as the vacation went on.

How sad is that? And more to the point, how unique is this - I wonder how many others are able to truly relax away from IT?

11 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by happygeek

Your story reminds me of 'the gadget show' (tv programme) when one of the hosts tried to live without technology for a day.

No mobile, no laptop, no i-pod etc. It was pretty tuff.


Ironically, about 10 years ago I did an experiment which turned into a feature for a magazine whereby I locked myself into a room with just a computer, modem and telephone line and had to survive for a week with only online contact.

With online supermarkets not being a reality, and ecommerce just starting out, it proved to be all but impossible.

How times change huh?


In contrast, the best vacation I ever had was in 2004.
No cellphones and computers for 3 weeks, no telephone at all as well as no radio, television, or newspapers for 2 of those.

Wyoming is heaven.


online telephone directory to get the number for the pizza delivery guy, what more do you need? ;)

10 years ago (or possibly more) in the UK even finding an online telephone directory was problematical ;)


I moved house in August last year, of all the things that need to be organised in a house move, all I could think about was making sure the cable engineer was there at my new house first thing in the morning to get me online, the first thing I unpacked was my rig. My wife says I'm sad, but I don't think it's all that bad it's my hobby after all. My wife is into equestrian pursuites and the welfare of her horses come before mine, and the VET bills are monumentally larger than my cable bill, but I don't complain.


We used to keep a couple of heavy horses (shires) in the field behind our house, along with a rescue sanctuary ex-miner donkey which they had adopted, but the bills became just too great in the end and we had to sell them.

I still get elbowed in the ribs when I buy a new gadget, along with remarks along the lines of 'that would have bought three weeks worth of food for the horses' and 'we could have kept them another six months if you did not buy that'.


She is right of course. Which makes it a double-grrr.


10 years ago (or possibly more) in the UK even finding an online telephone directory was problematical ;)

To cheat then, create a webpage with some relevant phone numbers before you start the experiment :cheesy:


I agree. I once went on a week vacation without my ipod, cell phone and laptop. The withdrawal symptoms started right during the journey. The six hour train ride was hellish. I was tossing and turning throughout. My hands would automatically reach out for the absent ipod. I somehow killed the time reading magazines and looking out the window. When I reached my cousin's place, it turned out their internet connection was on the fizz. One week of sheer torture. The cafes weren't any good as the connection was too slow to get any real work done. God, I don't know how I survived. I always make it a point now to carry atleast the iPod with me...


I have to say that i feel the withdrawl even by going to a play, it is the most pathatic thing ever, durning the intermition i am out in the loby with my phone trying to hide the fact that i have gone straight for the internet. I feel like it has become a drug addiction and i need the equivilant of a nicitine patch to help me quit

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