Editor’s note: Rob Volpe is CEO and founder of consumer insight firm Ignite 360, San Francisco. This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared under the title, “Risky Business: How to survive a week unplugged.” 

Unplugging and truly escaping on a vacation becomes more challenging every year. Corporate culture demands 80+ hour work weeks if you want to be seen as successful. It's taking a toll on employees. And in our polarized climate with news cycles spinning faster and faster, the fear of missing out is taking on greater meaning. Unplugging is risky business. It’s better, easier and safer to stay connected. Just in case. But last summer I learned the risk is worth the reward.

Smartphones and satellites mean I can be connected almost anywhere – to work, the constant churn of news and the tug of social media. Where can a guy go to escape and reset?

To find this escape from technology I signed up for a seven-day voyage on the Queen Mary 2 and vowed I’d pass on the expensive Wi-Fi. 

But would detachment create more distress and anxiety? Could it provide a moment of tranquility? 

Day 1: I checked in on the news and opened my e-mail one last time. It was a Sunday, so work e-mails were at a minimum. Here we go!

Day 2: Withdrawal. No cell service and no Wi-Fi meant no headlines or Facebook posts slipping through. I ignored the daily U.S. news printout left at our door. Twice I eyed the start of the headline and felt the rise of “Trump stress” so I immediately threw those away.

Sailing over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, I moved quickly past news outlets carried on the onboard satellite. If a true catastrophe struck, I’m sure it would make the rounds. I noticed how I was able to focus on other things, exploring the ship, sipping on an Aperol Spritz (or three) with friends. Most significantly, I dedicated time to work on the book I’m writing.

Day 3: My husband and...