High-tech contractor David G. Evans found a way to have his vacation and get paid for it, too. "I was on call for production support. I spent a few weeks grooming my contacts to text me if they had an issue. That being done, I found a wonderful camp spot in Seaside, Calif., 20 seconds from pristine dunes and the ocean, 15 minutes from downtown Monterey, private, inexpensive, and well equipped. The recreation room has two hookups for Internet and a Web-mail kiosk.
"Since this was an East Coast contract, I would get up at 4:30 or 5 to do a quick message check and reply as a first-thing-in-the-morning connection for them. Then we would drive to the Monterey Bay Aquarium but leave me three blocks away at the Kinko's with my laptop, where access is free, 24 hour, and comfortable. I would spend an hour or two working, then wander down to the wharf to meet them for some exhibits and lunch. If there was work, I would check back at Kinko's; if not, we had family time. Except for some mad coding from the backseat of the Volvo, plugged into the cigarette lighter for a portion of the trip home, this was the best working vacation I ever had."
Edward C. Horvath had the best idea for a busman's holiday: "Buy yourself a ticket to the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. Live on caffeine, sugar, new technology, and the famed Jobs Reality Distortion Field for a week."
The prize for the most far-out connected experience has to go to Savio Rodrigues, one of the authors of our Open Sources blog. He proudly sent us a photo from Machu Picchu -- not of himself, but of his BlackBerry, with a strong connection. A close second: April Harris Calderwood's working vacation, "going to a third-world country and helping a community project with technology; you rest and give back to the community."