Roger L. Simon

The Virtually Vanishing Vacation

It’s no news to those of us in the wired world that vacation as we knew it is a thing of the past. Between broadband, wireless, blackberries, iPhone, etc., etc. there is no escape.

I am up here in Bainbridge Island where Sheryl and I have bought some property in the woods, but I might as well be on the corner of Hollywood & Highland with a cellphone in my ear, for all I have been able to get away. Only during a few spare moments on a newly-acquired mountain bike [Watch out, boy. -ed.] am I ever fully away. Mountain biking is rather like skiing in that the process is hold-on-for-dear life attention getting. Sort of like Zen one-pointedness on steroids. Of course, for those of us of a certain age, mountain biking is no all-day activity – more like forty-five minutes. Otherwise we’d be in cardiac arrest. Still, I’m having fun in my own workaholic way.

Speaking of which, I think others may have observed that since we live in such a virtual world, geography has collapsed. We are only in one spot in the temporal sense. In the virtual sense, we are everywhere. I don’t feel particularly more away on Bainbridge Island than I do in the Hollywood Hills. Of course, Bainbridge is part of the metro area of Wired Seattle. The ferry that takes you into town has its own distinctly un-free WiFi and the place is lousy with tech wizards. So what do you expect? This weekend we are planning a jaunt to the wild and wooly lands of Olympic National Park. But even there, I imagine, the rays will be zapping me.