It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! That means the holiday season is just around the corner. Traditionally it’s a time when we get together with those we love…or those we have to love. Many will take time off work. Some will holiday at home. Others will holiday far away. Several will remain in their host country. Wherever in the world you are this holiday season, I encourage you to Unplug and Connect – really connect.
You’ve heard it before – we are more connected than ever. In fact, I take my hat off to all those who lived abroad pre-1990s. Technology has made moving to the other side of the world so much easier because we can maintain relationships with friends and family in real time. Our reliance on technology, however, can take us away from what it right in front of us. People. Places. Perspectives. Life.
I see this upcoming holiday season as an opportunity to unplug from technology and take time to connect, really connect with our surrounding environment – wherever in the world that may be.
If you’re on your own this holiday season, connecting with people can be confronting. It’s not too late to find a local charity that could use your help. Serve meals, wash dishes, be a friendly face. You are bound to meet new people, some of whom will open your eyes to a new perspective and others who are in the same boat as you. Join organisations such as Internations who have communities all over the world made up of members just like you – people living outside their passport country.
Spending the holiday season with you immediate family unit? Lucky you! Put down that screen and get out there. Go for a walk, eat out, explore a new part of town – together. Really live in the moment and enjoy it. This is a great opportunity to create wonderful memories together. Do you really want those memories to involve posing at every turn, in search for that perfect photo to post? Look into your partner’s eyes. Look into your children’s eyes. Watch them as they sleep. Listen to them laugh.
Taking ‘Home Leave’ over the holiday season is great…and exhausting. Surrounded by family and friends, you have the golden opportunity to unplug and connect. Strike up a conversation with that uncle in the questionable shirt across the table. Discover a new perspective. It’s ok to agree to disagree. Connect with old friends (and your children’s friends too) over a meal, whilst enjoying a hike or seeing the latest art exhibition. Show your children where you went to school, visit a local landmark, lie on your backs and stare at the stars. This is life. Make the most of it. These conversations and experiences may never repeat themselves.
I’m making a commitment to leave my laptop behind this holiday season. I’m looking forward to connecting with my family as we travel, explore and recreate together. Sure, I’ll be taking photos along the way but I’m going to enjoy the moment with those actually in it, not necessarily those with access to my social media feed. In a world where loneliness and isolation are rife, we need to connect, really connect. After all, we humans are designed to interact. Please join me to unplug and connect this holiday season.
May you be blessed with love, laughter, peace and hope throughout this Holiday Season and the year ahead. Thank you for your support, encouragement, dialogue. I look forward to continuing the journey, wherever in the world that may be, with you in 2017.
Image Credit: Edward Cozza