If You’re Going to Take Time Off, Take Time Off.

We took the week off last week to go to Guadeloupe, a small island in the French part of the Caribbean. There are a lot of reasons I love Guadeloupe — this is my second trip there — but what I especially love is how disconnected I can be there.

Most of the tourists in Guadeloupe are from France or Quebec, which means you’re not hearing people talk about the news or politics. The TV channels aren’t American TV channels, so you’re not watching much TV. I put my phone on Airplane Mode when I land, so I’m not constantly hearing the ping of texts and emails. And the internet connection at the hotels isn’t great — which ordinarily would be an issue, but it means that on a vacation like this, I’m generally not looking at my phone as often I would.

All of which meant that I got to take a true week off, save for two brief windows when I actually responded to emails just to make sure I didn’t come back to hundreds of unread messages. Otherwise, I spent the week enjoying the beach, reading, and unwinding.

There are trips when I’ll spend some time working and take calls, but there’s something special about those weeks when I truly get to unplug. Weirdly, it can be hard to take time away — it’s so tempting to grab the phone and try to stay connected to what’s happening! — but it’s also so necessary to actually take the time off.

And if you’re going to take time off, you should mean it. Go read a book. Do nothing for a while. You deserve it.


That’s a photo I took at the beach on Guadeloupe one afternoon.