Hoda Kotb Reveals The Strange Reason She Didn't Host The Today Show For A Week

Hoda Kotb returned to her seat next to Jenna Bush Hager on "TODAY with Hoda & Jenna" on December 13, and she had a lot to share with viewers. Kotb had everybody wondering where she was the previous week, and it turned out she had been away from the morning show for a very interesting reason. By the time she was done explaining she had her co-host (and likely plenty of others) curious about possibly following her path.

Kotb has a busy personal life raising her two daughters with her fiancé by her side, so taking time away from her day job prompted some speculation among her fans. "How many agree with me that @hodakotb is off married to Joel?!" tweeted one "Today" viewer, referring to Kotb's fiancé, Joel Schiffman. "Where's @hodakotb? I may have missed them telling as I'm working with @HodaAndJenna on in the background, but I'm concerned! And I miss her!" another Twitter user wrote. Kotb was absent on social media during that time as well, which had "Today" fans wondering if this was an absence for a simple vacation, for something big and exciting, or for something worrisome. Luckily, Kotb's return revealed all and left everybody with plenty to think about.

Hoda Kotb came back a changed woman

The December 13 episode of "TODAY with Hoda & Jenna" featured Hoda Kotb with her co-host Jenna Bush Hager once again. It turned out Kotb had been on vacation, but it wasn't an ordinary trip away. Rather, she was at a retreat where she had to hand over her phone for the length of her stay — and that was a major game-changer for the journalist. "After going almost 10 days without it," she began, "I asked myself the simplest question, 'cause I was thinking, 'What will I do?' and I said, 'Was I happier with it or happier without it?' And I was happier without it."

Kotb decided she had to figure out how to minimize her phone usage while remaining narrowly focused on what she really needed to do on it. "I feel so free, and so clear," she added of not having her phone with her constantly. Kotb admitted that she has had "a fad" of giving up her phone before. This time, however, "This isn't that. This isn't that fad. This is a real thing, and I realized that I feel different." Kotb was happy and glowing during her return, signaling the retreat was the perfect getaway for her time away from work. Will she stick with her minimalist approach going forward with her phone? She was clearly passionate about giving it a try and Kotb's fans will be curious to hear her updates.