How to Disconnect Completely

by Chadwick Wood
December 29th, 2011

On January 8th, I'm flying to Guatemala. I'll be there for about two months, studying Spanish and sightseeing. Over the past month, I've been going back and forth on a question: should I take my laptop? It's a big decision.

If I don't take my laptop, then the trip is basically a two-month vacation. I can use internet cafes to correspond with clients and take a thumb drive to do some minor work on websites. But without a Mac laptop, I can't do any updates to my iOS apps (e.g. Pouch and C2G). The thought of something going wrong with one of those apps (someone finds a serious bug, or car2go or 37signals makes a server-side change that breaks things) is a scary one.

On the other hand, if I take my laptop, I'm going to be worrying about it the whole time. Theft is common in Guatemala, and carrying around a device that costs the equivalent of several months' rent might not be a good idea. I would have to keep the laptop on my person when I'm doing things like hiking around Tikal or Semuc Champey. And then there's the mental aspect to it... constantly carrying a laptop on an exotic trip is about the best symbol of never being able to escape work that I can think of.

So, I think I'm leaving the laptop in Austin. I really care about being responsive to customers' and clients' problems and needs, but if anything comes up in the next couple of months, I'm going to have to respectfully ask people to wait. It's time for me to get away and disconnect for awhile. When I get back, you can be sure my first priority will be taking care of anything that happened while I was gone. Thanks for understanding.

-- Chadwick Wood