I spent a week vacation in Venice in April. It was a beautiful place. It was also the first time I went on vacation without my laptop (my wife's request).
Loosing the connection with the Web Collective...
This is more difficult than I thought. I started going through withdrawal trying to enable my email to work on my GSM Windows Mobile phone via international roaming (it worked easily, although my wife was not pleased about it). I just find it hard to disconnect.
Having passion about the projects I'm working on, they don't stop for anyone who goes on vacation (and your responsibilities don't go away - work doesn't assign replacements for you when you are away). I find it difficult to clear my mind of the things I'm working on or future endeavors. My wife says I need to learn to meditate. It took me half the week to start to clear my mind as we were enjoying our vacation. after we returned, it took me a week to ramp back up (catching up on all the emails).
It hit me that maybe (because I think I'm not unique to this industry), maybe we need to rethink how we enjoy vacation with our families. Since most of us can be engaged in our careers anytime, 24/7, we might have to create a personal program for ourselves to gear down and gear up so we can be in the moment of the vacation. hmm. something to think about for next time. Maybe the idea of week long vacation isn't reasonable anymore? no, I don't want to believe this. hmm
Venice. the antipathy of creative destruction
It was interesting walking through Venice. No Streets or Cars. I thought the entire city was an giant museum that had decided not to develop past the 1500s. Walk or Boat. Thankfully, I didn't see any horses. :)
Creative Destruction promotes the concept of progress out of the destruction of the past (past thinking, design, architecture, etc...). A great example is the beautiful city of Singapore (with strong laws making space for new architecture and new products).
Venice has survived and thrived on a theme that rejects creative destruction by embracing architectural concepts planted around the 1500s and earlier (there are a few exceptions of course). They managed to utilize technical innovation (modern plumbing, electricity, telephones, Internet, cell phones, etc...) much as a very light condiment for a sandwich (and not be the sandwich itself).
I can't remember the number of churches we saw. Venice is a city on the water with a lot of places to pray - if you are Catholic. There was a historic church every 100 to 200 meters. And my wife wanted to go into everyone of them. Even my hotel, there was an historic church used as a storage area for the hotel that would be a national landmark in my country.
We took every tour could get (often exhausting, reminding me how out of shape I am -which motivated me to join a gym). A common theme of the tours- power, money and religion of course.
We were surprised by the Jewish tour of seeing the first Jewish ghetto (the first use of the term as well) and the historic large population of Jews in Venice. They were purposely quarantined into one area of the city (establishing the first ghetto). Also, the tour discussed how the Germans took 200 to camps in WWII and only 8 returned.
On a lighter side, we ate well. Some of the best food was inexpensive non-tourist pasta and pizza deep in the city well away from San Marco Square (main area of Venice where the tourists concentrate).
There was one place in San Marco which had excellent food. the famous: Harry's Bar. However, be warned. The meal is very expensive. But we had to go (my wife is a personal chef). Harry's is famous for the invention of the Bellini and Carpaccio.
it was a nice vacation. :-)