That’s me coming out of a London phone booth on Heddon Street last week. If any David Bowie fans are reading this, they’re nodding their heads; and if the rest of you are scratching your noggins wondering what I’m going on about, here’s why Heddon Street is legendary to Ziggy Stardust fans, of whom my husband is king (and therefore, by association, am I queen).

In perpetual motion

You’re also probably wondering why I chose a photo that’s a bit fuzzy to illustrate this post. I did so because it captures me in motion, and that’s what our vacation (which was wonderful) felt like.

We were in perpetual motion, as we took in the Globe, Abbey Road, Lord’s, Abbaworld (awesome!), some great restaurants and the whole point of going to London in some very crappy weather – to see Elvis Presley in Concert as my “milestone birthday” celebration. (After all, when you’re in one of the world’s most vibrant cities for five days, you want to do as much as you can.)

It’s also how I think of life today. Ever since getting back to the U.S., I’ve slowly been getting back to my “real” life, which was blissfully suspended for a week. And real life in the 21st century moves very, very fast. The kind of thing we say we want to get away from… which is why we go on vacation, right?

Kinda sorta. While we were traveling, I did keep my Blackberry close at hand, but I didn’t send too many emails from it (at least, I’d like to think I didn’t, though my colleagues at IABC/DC Metro are probably snorting right now).

So while the vacation was meant to be a getaway, I didn’t really “get away” as much as I could have… but was that a bad thing?

The 2.0 vacation

Because of my BB, for example, we were able to minimize how much paper (directions, addresses, etc.) that we carried with us while we were traipsing across the city. A green vacation… after a fashion!

And I was able to stay in touch with my Twitter peeps thanks to Ubertwitter. One of them, Howard Riefs, introduced me to the fabulous Tom Aikens, who very kindly made a reservation for me at Tom’s Kitchen (which you really have to go to when you’re next in London). The best eggs benedict I’ve eaten in a while, not to mention the best loo sign ever. Check it out:

They also told me how much postage I’d need to mail in some bill payments that I’d forgotten to drop off in the mad rush before we left. Staying connected helped me find one of London’s three remaining post offices (or so someone said) and take that load off my mind.

Because we had mobile connectivity, we were able to find some really dinky record stores – the kind that only take cash – that my husband’s been dreaming of going to.

And I was able to meet up with friends like Richard Bagnall and Ved Sen, and meet IRL tweeps such as Kristin Wadge, Russell Pearson, Bryce Keane and Sheema Siddiqui (the latter of whom organized a #shonalitweetup – love it!)

Whether we like it or not, hyper-connectivity is part and parcel of our lives, especially for those of us who live in the social media plane. Yes, that’s sometimes tiring, even irritating… but it can also be incredibly helpful.

So while it’ll take me a little time to get back into full 2.0 work mode, I’m grateful to the 2.0 world for adding dimension to a vacation that was a once-in-a-lifetime event for us.

You might call it a 2.0 vacation.

Shonali Burke
Founder and publisher of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke helps purpose-driven brands bring big ideas to life. She teaches at The Johns Hopkins University, has gone back to school herself with the Harvard Business Analytics Program, and is creator/lead instructor at The Social PR Virtuoso® online training hub , where ambitious PR pros learn how to unleash their inner Social PR superheroes. Owned by Lola the Basset Hound, she's mad about ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis, though not necessarily in that order. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke

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