The Power of Free Time

CitySquirrelsWild Friends started in an idle moment, during an idle conversation.

Erika and I were just having a normal lazy Sunday: hanging out on our couch, eating celery and peanut butter, sharing the details of our busy weeks — when, fatefully, we ran out of peanut butter.

The power of a great friendship, some uninterrupted free time, and a simple conversation has changed both of our lives.

Too often, I think, we get caught up in the craziness of day to day company work, and forget to spend time having simple conversations. In fact, the most valuable, motivating and productive time Erika and I spend together is usually not while working or while having fun. It is in all those in-between times — car rides, flights, walks, leisurely lunches or slow samplings.

We were lucky enough to have a lot of these “in-between” times during our most recent trip to New York — car rides, subway journeys, flights, walks, and nights in our hotel. The less access we have to technology the better — flights are ideal, long walks and evenings spent in a (Wi-Fi free) hotel are also great for good conversation.

Sure, sometimes we scroll through Instagram or do a bit of people watching, but usually we just chat. Since the normal topics of work and our personal lives are already pretty extensively covered (we do live AND work together, after all), we find ourselves instead talking about what-ifs, future dreams, things we find interesting about the food industry, recent customer feedback that we found confusing or intriguing.

This is how we come up with new ideas, hash out our insecurities or confusions, solve any lingering issues and really dream big.

Even though long days spent traveling without constant access to technology can easily feel unproductive (emails go unanswered, spreadsheets unfinished, phone calls unreturned), they often spark exciting conversations that keep inspiration flowing — a far more important and elusive accomplishment.