Unplugged – how life in Tuscany made me rethink work

Tuscany

I remember the last time I visited Italy. I fell in love with a fantastic country, amazing nature, a history I’ve never seen anything like, and some of the kindest people I’ve met. Now, that I’ve been revisiting, I want to share some of my thoughts on what it was like to be completely offline for seven days, experiencing the sun and eating pizza every single day. And, in the end, I started to focus on work again. I might actually end up doing more of what I love doing, and things I’m really passionate about – due to my seven days in Tuscany.

I needed to go offline

This summer, I have been working harder than I have ever worked before. I worked during my vacation, while I was living in a tent. And I worked hard to make a dream come true and launch the vegetarian festival.

I noticed, at the end of the summer, that I hadn’t been resting much, even though I had been swimming every day, and at the time, I felt that I was relaxing and having a great time with my family. It felt like I was on vacation, but I had been working many hours every day, and I had been thinking a lot about work and the vegetarian festival, even when I wasn’t working.

When summer was over, and we started planning to travel to Italy. I realized that I needed to go offline. At first, I thought about checking my email once a day, and doing some minor updates on social media. But then, just before I left for Italy, I decided that I needed to be away from everything, just for a week. I wasn’t that tired, but I didn’t feel inspired to keep working. And, to me, that’s a really bad sign. I needed to clear my mind. And, put a pause on everything.

Tuscany

I’m not going to go into all the details about my vacation in Tuscany. But, I did read several books, not about marketing, and not about business. I relaxed in the sun. We had a swimming pool at the house we rented. And, I walked a lot, and we visited places like Pienza and Siena. And, I ate pizza. In fact, I probably ate more pizza in a week, than most people eat in six months.

pizza in tuscany

But, what I remember the most about life in Tuscany, was how relaxed I felt, and how beautiful the nature was. The people I met, they were all smiling, they were calm, having their siestas, just enjoying life. It was just like the last time I visited. And, I love it.

It was a vacation, not like any other vacation. I really needed it. I wasn’t there to see “everything”. I wasn’t there for any particular reason. It just felt really good. I needed to get back some of my energy, and I needed to refocus and reboot.

Watching. Listening. Feeling calm. That makes me happy.

What I am currently focusing on

I didn’t think about work until the last day in Italy. I am not sure how it started, but I thought about an overview of what I am currently doing, what type of clients I am working for, and what type of projects I am involved in.

I had started to feel, before I left Norway, that I needed to start focusing on two areas of work. I have been creating various courses in different areas of marketing, like how to make your customers love you, and I have been teaching marketing, more than ever. I have been teaching clients what they should be doing to get customers for life, instead of just finding new customers through advertising campaigns.

Sitting in the sun in Tuscany, watching the clear blue sky, I was thinking that my business should be about teaching marketing (speaking and writing), and creating stories to help clients, instead of me actually doing the work I have been doing in the past year (SEO, social media etc..).

I am back…

I’m back at the office, watching the same sky, from a different angle. It doesn’t feel as clear blue as when I was in Tuscany, but my thoughts are still the same. Well. I’m thinking about how hard it is to get started working again, and how difficult it is to make any progress after I have unplugged from everything, and I’m thinking that I can do anything I want, I just need to find my purpose in business.

Teaching marketing feels right.

Comments

  1. Jeevan Jacob John says

    Glad you enjoyed your vacation, Jens (that’s what vacations are for, right?)

    Unplugged from everything for 7 days? Now, that’s awesome ;)

    The power of relaxation. I might need to take a break or something. Right now, I am following a schedule – blogging, learning, reading. It’s all fun, but I do feel kind of tired (it might be just habituation – perhaps I will just change my schedule).

    Anyways, good luck with the future :)

    • says

      Hey Jeevan,

      That’s exactly what vacations are for. I was working during my other vacation, so it wasn’t exactly a vacation, even though my family didn’t work :)

      It seems like you need to take a vacation too :)

  2. says

    Sometimes yet the sit back and take a second look at life and nature and seeing the way that others interact with life can give you a better perspective on where you are.

  3. says

    Hey Jens

    It sounds as though you had a fantastic time in Tuscany and you couldn’t have been in a better place to enjoy some pizza!

    I like the sound of your future work plans very much. You are an excellent story teller and if you’re a confident speaker then that’s going to be a winning formula.

    I love your passion and enthusiasm for life and the world around you and that can only be a good thing for your business

  4. says

    It’s amazing how a little time away can help you clear your mind. We’re currently on a nine month trip around the world and our time in Croatia is proving just as rejuvenating. It’s amazing what this Mediterranean lifestyle can do to you :)

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