Although travel is my job, it is rare that I take a trip for the sole purpose of relaxing and disconnecting. Yes, it happens, but it’s rare and usually I work crazy hours in advance to make sure there isn’t an interruption in publishing new content on my site. Although I’m on vacation this week, I decided not to overproduce posts. Rather than churn out less than great content quickly just so I can keep a publication schedule doesn’t make sense to me, so I’m doing something I’ve never done in the 9 years that I’ve been running LandLopers – I’m taking a week off.
Where I’m Going
Last fall, my partner and I were watching a documentary on the Smithsonian Channel about a company called Smyril Line that operates a regular international passenger, car and freight service using a large, modern, multi-purpose ferry named MV Norröna. The ferry runs between Denmark and Iceland, with stopovers in the Faroe Islands, and the round-trip takes a week. What was most interesting to us weren’t the large engines or how much fish they transport every week, no, it was that it was also what appeared to be a very comfortable passenger cruise ship as well. The documentary spent a lot of time detailing what passengers can do onboard, where they go and the overall experience. We both were very interested in the trip but I was surprised the next day when my partner announced that for his 40th birthday trip he wanted to do that cruise. We could’ve gone anywhere in the world and we could probably have enjoyed just about any luxury travel experience, but this is what he wanted to do and so we booked our trip that very same day.
Starting in Copenhagen, we are spending a few days in the city since I’ve never been there before traveling on to the Danish city of Aalborg where we board the ship. The cruise includes 2 days in the Faroe Islands and 2 days in Iceland and, honestly, the entire experience looks amazing. I can’t wait to return to one of my favorite parts of the world and to see some new sights. As a side note, for my 40th birthday I also chose to spend it in Scandinavia, so I guess that says a lot about both our own personal interests.
By the time this is published I will have already wrapped up my time in Copenhagen and boarded the MV Norröna. I will be sharing posts on social media because it’s me and I can’t break that habit. I don’t want to either though. I enjoy sharing travel experiences on social media and I don’t need to lock up my phone in order to enjoy the travel experience.
The Importance of Mental Health Breaks
None us of is perfect and no one – no one – has a perfect life. We all go through things and I certainly have had my fair share of issues over the last couple of years. Naturally, I buried myself in work but, not surprisingly, that was not a healthy way to go. No, instead I need this rare week off in order to relax, reassess and move forward happier and healthier.
Technology is great and without it I wouldn’t have been able to make this strange job my new career. So, I’m certainly not bashing it outright. But there is a time and place for everything, and when we travel we do so in order to connect with the world around us. Travel should be a spiritual journey, it should be about experiencing new and foreign things and realizing that the world is so much more spectacular than anyone ever told us. This can’t be done through a lens or by chasing Pokémon. This can only be accomplished through firsthand, sensory perceptions and followed up by moments of introspection. Hence, my need not to overdo it this week.
I’m not writing this post to brag about disconnecting or make something out of nothing. Believe it or not, this post started off as a simple announcement as to why nothing new is going up this week. But then I had a couple cups of coffee, and here we are – a full-fledged blog post. Perhaps that, more than anything else, proves why I need this break. I’m excited though to return and write about all of my experiences exploring the beautiful North Atlantic in what is admittedly a slightly unusual way.