How is the new year treating you?

Our team would like to give you a challenge for the new year: evaluate all of the ways you are connected in your everyday life, then learn to disconnect and reconnect.

What do we mean, exactly? Let Joanna give you an example, as told from her perspective during the recent team trip to Nicaragua.



Disconnect and Reconnect

By: Joanna Harbin

As Courtney and I moved through the security lines at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport preparing to board our flight to Managua, I felt a slight tinge of discomfort. Something was missing.

I frequently find myself in airport security lines and terminal bookshops – traveling to new campuses for work, visiting friends across the country or hopping on my next summer flight to Cape Town. But this time something was different. I turned to Courtney, slightly embarrassed, realizing it was the first time in as long as I could remember I’d traveled without a laptop tucked away in my carry-on.

I know this may sound ridiculous, that I’d actually feel separation anxiety from a piece of technology, but let me try to put this in perspective:

One of the best things about working for Go Global is that we can work remotely. We often have the freedom to work from the comforts of home, in a new coffee shop or even connect across the country. If I have an Internet connection, my laptop and a cell phone, I can plug in from just about anywhere and do my job. Parents call me with questions about our summer programs, students text me confirming the next steps to apply for the program of their choice and coworkers email me providing update on projects.  We are always connected.

We love the work we do! We know that the calls we answer, the texts we send and the emails we read throughout the year allow hundreds of students to have transformative experiences abroad each summer. And as travel enthusiasts ourselves, we appreciate the freedom to take our work with us. But this unique flexibility also makes it difficult to ever completely disconnect.

On our trip to Nicaragua, Robbie encouraged each of us to set an away message on our email, change our voicemail greetings, leave our laptops at home and let students know that we would be out of the country.

For seven days, the seven of us disconnected from our computers, phones and social media. Instead, we served alongside locals, hiked active volcanoes, explored breath-taking beaches (where Survivor was filmed!), read books we’d been waiting to read, took long walks to get 10,000 steps a day on our Fitbits, stayed awake to watch shooting stars, tried incredible foods, told each other long stories and laughed hysterically. We intentionally disconnected from technology and allowed ourselves the rare opportunity to truly reconnect with each other.

I’m glad to be back home and back to work for now, but I’m also excited for the next time I find myself boarding a flight with that slight tinge of discomfort.

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So, what do you think? In what ways will you disconnect and reconnect this year? We want to hear from you!

As always, happy travels.

-Anna and the Go Global team

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