Looking for ways to switch off from the world? Then check out this amazing advice from travel bloggers who’ve been there and done it

I’m finally home.

A few weeks ago I was housesitting in Camden. Then I moved onto a friend’s house in Notting Hill. After that I was in Jordan for eight days. And now I’m home (via my girlfriend’s and a quick hotel review in Hertfordshine). This is the life of a travel blogger. Always on the move, each week in a different place. I’m not going to lie, it’s incredibly draining at times.

And when I’m not travelling, I’m catching up on work – every day I’m responding to emails, editing photos, editing videos, writing blog posts, scheduling social posts, responding to people, searching for new business opportunities.

Every day I live and breathe this blog. It’s on my mind as soon as I wake up to the moment I go to bed. Heck, often I even dream about A Brit and a Broad. There’s just no escaping it.

If there’s one thing that I am exceedingly bad a doing it’s switching off. I’ve always been bad at it, I just keep saying to myself “oh, I’ll just do one more bit of when…” and then all of a sudden it’s midnight and I haven’t eaten.

How to switch off in life

Over the past couple of months I’ve got to a point where I’ve said “enough is a enough, it’s time to switch off,” and it’s something I’m actively trying to do a lot more. After all, there’s more to life than blogging (there is, right?)

And what am I doing to switch off?

Dare I say it, I’ve turned to Netflix.

It’s probably got something to do with being poor and having a girlfriend in the same boat, but I’ve started getting into a couple of Netflix shows (Stranger Things is already done and dusted and we’re onto The OA now).

I used to see watching TV as such a waste of time. Yep, I was one of those guys who’d prefer to write a blog post rather than watch a film or a show, but alas times change and for that one blissful hour each evening I shut down and let my mind go to mush. It’s glorious.

In one of these catatonic states, it got me thinking about blogging (I know, I know – I’ve just stated that’s the last thing I should be thinking about. Sue me). I wanted to know what other bloggers do to switch off. What were their secrets, so I asked them.

If you’re looking to switch off from life, here’s what a bunch of travel bloggers have got to say about it all.


Mark & Mim from The Common Wanderer

Switching off from our crazy online life has become super important, as most of our time is spent on social media, writing blog posts or managing our website. To rest the mind, body and soul we like to get as deep into nature as possible. We love nothing more than escaping the city (and our phones) for a hike in the mountains. If that’s not possible, we like set aside a morning over the weekend to enjoy a nice, long brunch!

 

Emily from Emily Luxton Travels

When I really need to switch off from work, I love swimming. Even better if I’m in a hot country and can take a dip in the sea (thank you location independence), or there’s always the one weekend a year when England is hot enough to get in the channel! Exercise and fresh air are always the best way to switch off and reset your mind, and I just find swimming really relaxing. Plus, until they invent a waterproof laptop there’s basically no way I can take my work with me!

 

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Julie from A Lady in London

As a full-time travel blogger, I don’t get much time to switch off. But when I do, I love to get lost in a good book. There’s something about reading that helps my mind let go of all things blogging and social media, and it’s a great way to distract myself from work. Whether it’s a classic novel or something non-fiction, I’m always looking for the next good read to allow myself a break from blogging.

 

Scott from Intrepid Escape

When you return from a trip, the workload has stacked up and you already have a to-do list as long as your arm. It’s really important to keep focused mentally, and for me there’s no better way to do it than with exercise and fresh air. Even when I arrive in a new destination, I like to go running. It helps get over jetlag, you’ll get bearings and immediately get a feel for that destination. This can help you plan your next article, or your photos. And most importantly it’s free and you just need a pair of trainers!

 

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Chloe from Wanderlust Chloe

I’ll admit I’m not very good at switching off. I’ve always been a multi-tasker so even when I’m watching a film, my mind is often scrolling through a million things! For me cooking is one of my favourite ways to relax. I get totally lost in the preparation, cooking and the scents and taste of the food. Then there’s the huge feeling of satisfaction when you tuck into a great meal you’ve prepared!

 

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Author

Macca Sherifi is a presenter, photographer and videographer who has worked in the travel industry for the past six years. He has travelled to over 75 countries, volunteered in Bangladesh and worked in both China and Australia.

  • Amazing advices, as usual. We need more!)

  • Roma

    What a tough one, I guess I’m most zen when I’m in the ocean. It’s pretty rare these days

    • Yeah, I miss living by the sea too. It just means we have to travel more Roma! That’s something I can live with!

  • For me, my best switch off is to have a good spa and pamper session. When you’re forced to put your phone away in the locker and just take a book or notepad with you for the day or even an afternoon, it’s the best way to have a quick digital detox and allow your mind to wander. I come up with my best ideas at the spa!

    • I love this! I’m a secret spa love too Liz. I really love a sauna and steamroom (one of the reasons I love travelling around Scandinavia!) It’s an amazing way to destress and something I wish I had a lot more time for!

  • Steve Biggs

    Having a girlfriend who’s never been on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or Pinterest, and who’s recently removed herself from Facebook all helps!! As she’s hardly ever on her phone it makes it easier for me to put mine away too! It’s nice acting like it’s 2003 with no social media for distraction 🙂

    • Roma

      She’s never been on social? Wow! What’s that like?

      • That is awesome Biggsy! I think switching off from social and not spending time on your phone is so important in a relationship – it’s all about living in the moment after all! I wish Chloe and I turned off a lot more – we’ll try and be a lot more like you in the future!

  • Thanks for including us in this roundup. There are so many varied ways to switch off, and so many other things we need to implement (yoga being one!). We’ve actually just started doing mindfulness – 10 mins each morning we relax, control our breathing and thoughts and try to escape. Surprisingly, it actually works!

    Mark and Mim x

    • I’ve been talking about doing yoga and mindfulness for years but I’ve just never found the time to do it (ironic I know). I really think it’s something that’d help me clear my mind though, which is the whole point of it. Must. Make. More. Time.

  • Thanks for including me in this round up! Netflix is a good one too. Cooking and Netflix is about as good as life gets ha ha (apart from travelling of course!)

    • I’d take a lazy day on the beach with a rum punch and some delicious Thai food with you any day of the week but I get what you’re saying! X

    • Roma

      I couldn’t get into the OA either. Glad I’m not the only one!

  • Would love to hear what you guys think of the OA – I finished it last night and have just started on stranger things! I’ve always had a problem with turning off, hoping there’s some useful tips I can take from reading this! 😉

    • I couldn’t really get on board with it! I liked some things, and I thought it was a gripping story, but I think it was a stretch too far for my imagination – I couldn’t quite work out if it was real or a fantasy. I much preferred Stranger Things though so hopefully you will too! And yes, lots of tip here to help you switch off – I hope you find it useful Keri!

      • I hope I enjoy Stranger Things more. I stuck the OA out, but it did get a bit silly, especially with The Movements (I’m not sure if you got that far). Maybe the key is to watch more relaxing shows, huh? lol

        • Ha ha ha. I think my girlfriend would 100% agree with you there – she never likes what I watch!

  • Hi Macca! Just received this post via email!
    When we left London, back in November 2015, we had in mind that all we wanted was to explore the world and to travel for long term. While part of it is still happening, after 1.5 years on the road all I could think about was “My gosh how on earth there are bloggers out there travelling for 4-5-6-10 years!”
    Travelling is a gift, is magical, is wonderful, but slowing down when necessary is a must!
    In February, instead of flying to Sri Lanka (straight from India), we bought tickets to come back to London for a month or so. It has been great, let me tell you! We decided to stay put and have a well deserved detox from editing videos, taking pictures and just constantly being on social media.
    I am actually enjoying watching tv…it has been a while!!! Although we are itchy and will be hitting the road pretty soon 🙂
    Everyone has different ways of switching off, but a while ago I remember reading a blogger saying the ones who travel for long term are those who stop a few times a year…and I could not agree more!

    Telma @ Blank Canvas Voyage

    • Thanks for your comment Telma, and I completely agree with everything you’ve said! I think a lot of people outside the bloggersphere don’t really see this as work, but it is! The one thing I really struggle with is social media – I really don’t like the (self-made) pressure of posting every day, showing the world you’re having a good time when in reality all you want to do is kick back and relax! It’s great to hear you’ve had some down time though – sounds like you needed it! I’m also a huge advocate of slow travel. I don’t get why you’d rush through a country in a week if you’ve got the option to do it in a month – I just wish I had the option more often! Anyway, thanks for commenting again and happy travels/switching off! X

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