This summer, my family and I elected to not take a “proper” vacation. What is a “proper” vacation? For us, it is a trip planned months in advance, requires air travel, and is usually a week’s stay or longer in a tropical place. We look forward to it and count down the days until we leave, then make cute coasters from Shutterfly out of photos from the trip so we can reminisce about it at every family meal! (HA!) Why no trip this year? We have a boy who turned 4 this summer and the last trip we took on an airplane with him resulted in heavy drinking of the lucky passenger who had to sit next to him for 6 hours (my husband was on the other side).

El Capitan Canyon CabinAs summer approached, we felt sort of ho-hum with no big trip on the horizon. Feeling like we needed to do something before the summer ended, we gathered 3 of our favorite families and decided to do a few nights of stay-cation camping nearby. (Now, people who know me personally understand I am using the word “camping” loosely, as most people would refer to our experience as “glamping“.) We were in a beautiful canyon resort that offers a mixture of cedar cabins, yurts, and tents for lodging.

No TV and spotty phone service encouraged all of us to take advantage of the bountiful outdoor space around us.

We swam, we napped, we kicked around soccer balls, we walked the trails, and at night we all gathered together for dinner over the campfire and way too many s’mores while letting the kids run around in the dark with headlamps on. Needless to say, we had a wonderful time.

We planned the trip during the workweek, Wednesday to Friday, since it was harder to get a reservation on the weekends. Yes, it was a bit of an inconvenience as some people had to take time off work, some kids missed swim practice or preschool, but ultimately we all made it work. Cutting my workweek short gave me some guilt but I had to let that go fast to enjoy my tiny – and only – vacation this summer.

The unplugging (okay, I did use my phone to post photos on my personal Instagram and Facebook accounts but I wouldn’t be a true social media marketer if I didn’t!) really helped me recharge my personal battery. When I went back to work, I felt sharper and more focused. At the same time, I also now realize that there is great value in completely stepping away from my computer when I am not working and enjoying whatever moment I am in. My new goal is to check my inbox way less neurotically when I am supposed to be “off” (many work-from-home people can relate to this).

Aside from forming closer bonds with our friends and learning who is a barbecue master and who isn’t, what I ultimately took away from this super short break was that it doesn’t take a 10-day fancy vacation thousands of miles away to completely recharge.

Simply taking myself and family out of our everyday routine and, more importantly, shutting down the computers, the TV and the gaming console, for a mere 48 hours, made a world of difference.

We came home feeling refreshed and ready to tackle work and the upcoming school year. In fact, enjoying face to face conversations over a campfire and watching the kids run free is maybe even better than a “proper” vacation. I am already planning another multi-family glamping getaway for next summer and maybe we will splurge to stay 3 nights instead of just 2.

Wild Web Women – remember to UNPLUG to RECHARGE!!!

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