In this age of constant connectivity, we’ve all had to adapt in all aspects of our lives.
Because our bosses, our families and our friends expect us to be instant,y contactable, that means the dream of sailing away to a deserted island and truly switching off may never again be achievable.
Those of us old enough to remember a time before smart phones know that getting in touch used to be quite a chore.
Arrangements couldn’t be made on the fly; they had to be locked in. And unless there was a payphone handy — and the other person was still near their fixed phone — you could find yourself stranded when those plans went awry.
But let’s say you really do find a way to take a holiday from the real world. Exactly how cut off do you want to be?
I once stayed at a health retreat where mobile phones were banned and other ways of connecting to people on the outside were strictly controlled. There was no contact with family or friends and no news: papers, radios and televisions were off limits.
I asked the manager whether that golden rule was ever broken and, at the time, he said only once had they disrupted the tranquility — to announce to the inmates, sorry, guests that Princess Diana had died.
I’m not sure what earth-shattering piece of news would qualify these days.
While I wasn’t overly impressed with the news blackout, I did manage to stay a week without my fix. But that was before social media really caught on, so maybe I wouldn’t make it these days.
When I go on cruises, I always pay for the internet — even though the price is often exorbitant — to keep up with the news, and my friends, and to blog and tweet about my travels.
Some cruise lines, including P&O Australia, also provide daily newsletters that summarise the big events that are going on in travellers’ absence.
Obviously they recognise that there are many people who need, or simply want, to know what’s happening elsewhere even when they are on holiday.
I know I’m one of them, and I suspect that many of those people who say that they really want to get away are too.