One of the best perks of my job (real talk, why I took it) is to get paid to travel. Production shoots can be awful (sitting in a studio for 12 hours fixing product) or a breath of fresh air (exploring new cities and places). Being able to escape the chains of your desk not only exercises your legs, but gives you a change in perspective. This production shoot was thankfully the later.
Let’s set the scene. After an intense month of prep, other work projects, and traveling from NYC to Los Angeles and San Francisco, I was heading to Mexico to shoot a PopSugar docu-style video on one of three women whose airplane seat is their office as they travel around the world to pursue their dreams and make a difference in the world. Inspiring, yes. Attainable, mmmm not so much. This particular video focused on a silicon valley exec whose side hustle is the CMO of her family’s organic tequila company (no big deal). One of the major themes throughout the story was the intersection of two worlds, the contrast between being so connected in the digital space and the rural landscape of Jalisco, Mexico, where not only was there was no wifi, but there was also zero cell phone service.
On the Aeromexico flight to Guadalajara (nearest airport), there was no wifi, and I legit panicked for a few minutes trying to figure out what I was going to do for 2.5 -3 hours. The colleague I was with was equally panicked and the flight attendant was laughing as we were the only two gringas on the entire flight, and the only people asking for wifi. That’s when I realized I should make this work for me, not against me, and I embraced the disconnection, letting the digital detox begin.
The next few days were incredible and refreshing, I practiced my Spanish, and …
Met lots of new people and befriended the the local crew
Explored a small, charming village called Agua Negra
Ate tacos every day and sampled local beers and Mexican coke (SO good)
Learned how tequila is harvested and made
Saw how glass bottles are made from scratch at an old glass factory
Watched the sunrise
Enjoyed a tequila tasting
Andddddd most importantly, I focused on making real connections instead of searching for it on my phone. In this day and age, it felt fun, even a bit mischievous to be so far off the grid. No one knew what I was doing except for those who were standing next to me, and that’s all that mattered. There were no notifications, no constant pings of emails flooding my inbox, and no social media to distract or compare myself to.
Whether you’re on vacation, taking a break from work, or relaxing on the weekend, take the time to disconnect in order to connect with yourself.