I’m not gonna lie, I’m terrible at taking a holiday. Yes, good at getting away, really bad at properly switching off…
The juggernaught combo of having been freelance for over a decade now and the tightening noose of technology and specifically social media keeps me alert to work and online most of the time.
As a freelance it’s very hard to switch off – I mean I’ve just never even bothered to put on an Out of Office email; not since the day I left my last ‘office job’, for a magazine publishing company in Clerkenwell Green.
And now as someone ‘on Instagram’, well, for those if you that know, you just know. The thing is I really enjoy it! I enjoy, no, scratch that, I love the work I now do as a freelance. Working as a freelance journo was pretty much my dream job; incorporate taking photos and then publishing the whole shebang on your own digital platform, well, it can’t be beat really.
People often ask me where I want to take things with what I’m doing – well, the truth is nowhere really! I couldn’t be happier doing what I’m doing – creating content, both words and images for myself, weaving in the places I go, the things I like, the people and business I find inspiring. Of course, one day I’d like to have a novel published but I’d like to do that alongside what I do now.
But the flipside is that my set-in-stone freelance mentality – “You’re only as good as your last job” & “Where’s the next job coming from?” – never lets me switch off in the way that I did when I had a 9-to-5. And because the content of my day to day live often inspires the content I create to put out there, yes, it’s hard to turn off. Especially when you find it all so exciting!
And that’s the thing – have worked so diligently in my office jobs in my twenties and struggling to find creative fulfilment, having that now on a daily basis is a genuine delight. And for me, my blog was always meant to be fun – at some level I felt that trading in the reliability of an office job wage for the uncertainty of fluctuating fees and unpaid invoices had to go hand-in-hand with work feeling like fun! And that’s how I like to keep it!
So yes I am ‘guilty’ of spending too much time on my phone – but I like to think there’s always purpose there! And I will admit that I’ve never been one to scroll incessantly on any social platform – I gave up my personal Facebook almost as soon as started my blog, I don’t get sucked into the scary depths of Twitter, and on Instagram since the new algorithm I tend to make focussed visits to the accounts I want to see.
However, holidays! Currently in Portugal for a good stint of time – yes, we’re doing a house up here, but thankfully we’re having a little breather for the moment as we wait for some permissions to come through and this means I can infuse myself with nothing much to do apart from meals and which beach to explore next.
And re-learning how to sunbathe now that Gus is a bit older – sunbathing was, for much of my teenage years and twenties the absolute main focus. I never went too crazy on the colour, my skin only really likes to go a light golden brown, but it was more the associated snoozy sun time and how best to tackle reading a book in direct sunlight – you know, moving your towel or sunlounger so just your head’s in the shade, or propping your hat just so so the page is covered enough to be readable. Reapplying suncream without getting your book page all oily and making sure your don’t knock over your water or forget to put it in the shade so it’s not superhot…!
Now that is what being on holiday really is to me – and I’ve glad to say I’ve started as I mean to go on. As it’s too bright and hot for pictures during the day, I have to wait til the sun softens to get my camera out and then can don something pretty and gad about on the calcadas stones balancing my Pen on a chair and propping up the lens with a stone… and that too is my form of switching off and letting the holiday take over!
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Photography by myself on Olympus Pen E-PL9 (and tripod!) with 12mm lens. Use BLOGGER10 discount code to buy both Pen and lens here.