As summer vacation season begins I find that more people are heading to remote destinations involving a week of mountain climbing, hiking in uninhabited lands or going off the grid for ten days of work in a Bhutan temple. Is this some shift where a generation is getting in touch with the earth and the world around them? Did i miss the memo about everyone deciding that extreme travel was the path to happiness and rejuvenation?
Nah, i think it all has to do with one fact – you need to be in the middle of nowhere in order to get out of cell and blackberry range. And to be able to defend to your colleagues that you’re unreachable. It’s another by-product of 24/7 information culture.
If you’re going to Katmandu you can set the auto-reply “OOO until July 5th. Unavailable by cell phone. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for emergencies.”
But if you’re going to Ft. Lauderdale, sorry, you can still get five bars of coverage and your message is going to look like “Returning to office on June 28th, will be checking email in the morning and evenings. Available at #### for emergencies.”
In the face of these choices is it any wonder that American Samoa starts to look pretty good?