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Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes

Updated Aug 26, 2013 - 6:55 pm

New vacation numbers prove Americans need to unplug

About 61 percent of Americans will be working on their "vacations" this summer.

As a father of two and a lover of the outdoors, this is not that big of a problem. When you are done rolling your eyes, hear me out.

I have made a very distinct differentiation between traveling with the family and vacation: Traveling with the family is relocation more than it is a vacation. Checking email or returning a few office calls doesn't seem like such a big deal when the only difference in my daily routine is climate or geographic location. Family vacations are hard work. Checking email and returning work calls might be the only shot at relaxation the parents get.

A true vacation in my world is an adventure where a cell phone's functionality is reduced to a camera. I don't have use for tech in a hunting blind, fishing kayak or tree stand. There aren't cell towers or hotspots in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. This is a choice that is made to limit the amount of tech I have access to. I take far too few of these types of getaways but when I do, my batteries are quickly recharged.

As it is good for parents to get some time alone and away from the kids, I believe that all of us can utilize the same philosophy with technology. The break just might do your soul some good. Get back to your roots, cut the "tech cord" and have an adventure!

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About the Author


Mike Russell is KTAR's resident outdoorsman. His passion for the outdoors is the engine behind KTAR's hit show Get Outdoors with Mike Russell. Get Outdoors focuses on the world of hunting, fishing, camping and conservation. Mike's special features, The Outdoor Minute and the KTAR Timeline, can be heard each weekday on two of Arizona's highest rated shows, Arizona's Morning News and Arizona's Evening News. Mike hurries home each night to his amazing wife of 11 years, Jodi, and their two children Jillian (9) and John (7). His 95 pound puppy, Champ, is always there to greet him as well. The thought of loading up the truck for some fishing, hunting and camping keeps Mike motivated throughout the week. When he can't hit the lake or get out on a hunt, well, let's just say that none of us want to see that.

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