A few weeks ago, I got two emails from the Healthy Living Summit planning committee asking if I’d be willing to help out with some facets of next month’s summit. I really wanted to say yes, but I had to remind them of a important truth about my HLS experience: I don’t bring a laptop.
Kelly, who has hung out with me during the past couple years of HLS, was surprised; she had no recollection of my being computer-less. And she suggested that I write this post about why I don’t bring a laptop to a blogging conference.
The short answer is that the laptop currently in our home isn’t mine. It belongs to the school I work at and I expect they wouldn’t be too impressed with me taking it on a non-school related plane ride. But even if I owned my own machine, I’m not sure I’d take it to HLS.
7 Reasons I Don’t Bring a Laptop to HLS
1. I am terrible at packing – With all the different types of events at HLS, I already have too much to bring – running clothes, cocktail dress, clothes for the sessions, stuff to do on the plane, water bottle, business cards, camera. Nevertheless I try to pack light so that I can squeeze a spare bag into my carry on. On the way there, I carry on all my belongings. On the way home, I fill that extra bag with all the swag I inevitably receive. Then I check my suitcase and carry on my swag. I’m not sure where I’d fit a laptop in all that.
2. I worry too much – One of the best parts of HLS is the opportunity to explore a new city. I’m sure that my laptop would be safe in the hotel room, but I’d be scared to leave it unattended, especially with roommates coming and going. Plus I’d probably bring it to a summit session and leave it on the table, never to be seen again. It’s nice to have one less thing to worry about.
3. I’m not “that kind” of blogger – I’ve never been a daily blogger; it’s all I can do to get it together to post a few times a week. Since I’m already free from the pressure of blogging every day, I schedule my posting for the week around the summit. Then I don’t have to worry about upkeeping my blog at all.
4. HLS is a mini-vacation – I always learn a lot at the Healthy Living Summit, but I also view it as a little bit of a vacation. I’m with my friends, in a new place, eating great food and seeing new things. Vacations are much more relaxing without the call of my computer.
5. I like to take notes by hand – As much of a tech geek as I am, I love to take notes with pen and paper. As a result, I don’t have much of a need for a laptop during the actual HLS sessions.
6. I have a smartphone – My phone can take care of most of the technology I need over a long weekend. Email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram? Check, check, check and check. I can connect and make plans with my friends at the summit and make sure Brian knows I landed safely. Smartphones are wonderful things.
7. The phone isn’t that great – I have a fine phone, but there’s only so much I like to do on it. Reading blog posts? Not my favorite. Writing emails? No thanks. As a result, I check my accounts quickly on my phone and then feel okay with putting it down for a while. If I had my computer, I would be constantly distracted by Facebook and Twitter, which wouldn’t do a lot to help me meet new people.
With all that said, thanks to Heather loaning me her laptop, I will be involved in a couple extra HLS activities this year. I’m looking forward to being able to participate without losing all the benefits of being laptop-less.
Want more tips for the Healthy Living Summit? Check out my other Healthy Living Summit posts from 2010, 2011 and 2012!