/ NotHacking

It's Not All Hacking - Life [Escaping]

Probably not anywhere near to what I usually post about; so prewarning sorry if you're expecting a tutorial or something technical this is not it, but an important topic to cover I feel. Here is a post that will be not technical, maybe not directly supremely interesting but beneficial for sure.

Hacking/Pen testing/Based from home IT/Working from home, whatever category you fall into. You might well happily spend hours, sometimes maybe even days in front of your computer/technology and think nothing of it. Working from home brings a lot of great things to the table, it allows you to make your home your workplace, gives you freedom and allows you to do your own thing but what it also can bring to a lot of us is; isolation.

Maybe it has been X days since you saw sunlight (ya mad vampire!) however from a lot of conversations with colleagues, friends and just people in general I've grown to realise how important it is to have an escape from the online world.

If not for your own personal enjoyment but for your wellbeing, allowing yourself to take time out and relax is very important, be it once a day going for a walk or consider picking up a non-techy hobby.

Taking the time out does many things; it allows us to think more without being plugged in, in some cases it allows us to press the mute button on all our digital connections and be free for a short period of time.

What it also does though is allows us to escape from digital captivity, while it may not feel like it at the time it is beautiful to just take time without checking our phones for that next notification or that message from friends far away.

To be truly unplugged and out in the fresh air is probably one of the most liberating feelings, no music, no tech, just bare.

With that all said there is one thing I do every day and another that I use as an escape; my daily routine is to take my hour lunch and go to my local coffee shop round about 12.30pm as many days as I can. Sit outside (no matter the weather) & talk to a guy who I met at this very coffee shop some 3 years ago, we talk about many topics most of which are not tech or even related.

It is that human interaction for both of us that allows us to escape our own isolated worlds, at that table every day it may just be him and I discussing the world. Or at other points there are a few other characters who will come and go from time to time, taking this time to just people watch and watch the world go by is beautiful.

While this may not be everyone's cup of tea (or coffee in this case), it is a great example of a physical escape from the digital world.

Another escape of mine that I don't do daily but have done weekly for a while is Karate, I've been at it for 15 years and it is the best feeling being drained after a hard class, arguably you could say it's the longest standing relationship I've had and one that won't break my heart (just potentially everything else).

I'd recommend martial arts to anyone to get by, by doing karate it has opened many doors for me, given me confidence in being able to stand up for myself and stand up in front of people and talk - one of the reasons I've ever been able to do any form of talking to folks at conferences is from this confidence. A lot of people who I know in the security sector are also martial artists so it's a good hobby to have.

Moreover, though if sports aren't your thing, even taking time to go out for a walk be it for 5 min, 50 min or 5 hours taking time away from the digital world is something many of us as hackers, programmers, gamers & general techy folk often will negate or overlook.

So, of all the things, take some time out this weekend, spend some time outside, try new things, meet new people, experience new things.