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  1. When I went on my honeymoon, I made it really clear that I would be unreachable, and arranged for a friend to handle the workload for me when I went away. It was someone I trusted with my site credentials. I also made it clear that contacting him was for emergencies only (site down for extended time, hack, etc). Things went really well and I would recommend this 100%.

    If one of my clients objected to me taking a vacation where they couldn’t reach me, I’d say we aren’t a good fit. I make it very clear that I’m one man with other obligations and that I’m not 24/7 support. It’s all about setting expectations early on.

  2. Some comments:

    1. Its a lazy assumption that a desired holiday is sitting on a beach drinking alcohol. You’d have to force me to do that.

    2. Dont take your work with you. You dont have to, nobody is going to make you. Definitely dont look at your emails. You have no control of the content of those emails and therefore no control over your emotional reactions to those emails. Influence yes, but no control. Avoid having your emotions pulled in a direction counter to the intention of your holiday by not looking at emails.

    3. I dont need vacations. In amongst developing I go climbing, dance, do yoga, comedy improv, hang out with loved ones. My life is already balanced and does not need balancing (or the illusion of balancing) with a holiday.

    4. The world of business will survive without your input for 2 weeks.

    5. This article really seems to be addressing, or exists because of developers feelings of dis-empowerment. There is a more essential and deeper article to be written about this.

    This article riled me up some and I havent quite go to the bottom of it. There is something about the assumption of developers being unbalanced workahoilcs who need advice on how to go on holiday. This may be true (the first half particularly) and if it is it worries me. If you are a freelance developer then you are your boss and if you are that shitty a boss then there are bigger issues to attend to than holidays.

    I am lucky enough to be a strong willed and well rounded human being. I know when I am out of balance, can feel it in my body and know what steps to take. Not everyone has access to the tools I have.

    Slightly stream of thought reply there.

    Carrie, I like what you do, I like your attitude and your helpfulness and your presence in the WordPress community. I understand that for some people these tips are very helpful and would represent a move in the right direction toward establishing useful and healthy behaviours and boundaries.

    • Hi David,

      Goodness you did have a lot of thoughts on this one! I appreciate you taking the time to share them.

      You have the benefit of experience, healthy boundaries, and confidence. Those are not things I possessed when I started my freelancing journey 15+ years ago. This article is written for a much younger me.

      As to your #3 point, my daily life (like yours) is pretty balanced (likely because I’ve fallen with the word “No”). That said, I still treasure the occasional multi-day stretch from being plugged in. They serve as great mental reboots. And, for the record, I love sitting on the beach and drinking a beer. 😉

      Cheers,
      Carrie

      p.s. I really do appreciate your comments. Valid points from a different perspective.

  3. Hi Carrie,

    Thanks for your reply.

    The article is useful and has many practical, actionable points in it.

    It has definitely provoked some deeper thought in me. The holiday theme could easily be extended out to all areas of a developers life, in regard to setting boundaries and making strong choices about behavior and communicating those choices. Dis-empowerment can be the trade-off for an ‘easier’ life but can become the norm if too much comfort is sought.

    I have spent prolonged periods of time away form my work and in those times, because I love and am fascinated by my work, I tend toward looking at the bigger picture of my business and all it entails. That for me has a much greater potential for future payoff than simply continuing current work but on a diminished scale whilst on holiday. It also avoids the issue of having emotions created that are not congruent with a holiday vibe. Never good, but particularly bad if you are with a loved one who is then exposed to those pulls of emotion.

    David

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