Generally all my trips and vacations are enjoyable, but this one was a little bit different, it was extraordinary. Long hiking trips, national park visits, sightseeing in spectacular cities, and an almost remote island ensured an unforgettable time.
Moreover, I enjoyed good food along with local wines and other specialties. Some days I would simply take time floating in the crystal clear, blue sea, other days I’d swim along uncountable small fish in the open water. Summer is definitely my time of the year which really makes my soul thrive.
However, the aspect of offline lifestyle that made this vacay so special to me. I deliberately decided not to buy extra internet once I ran out of the amount included in my mobile package.
Lately, I realised that, like many people, I had been gradually losing touch with my physical world as I spent more time online. Therefore, being away from three weeks without reliable and high speed internet connection came just about in time. At the beginning I still had some internet, but I really had to be careful how I use the data. So I allowed myself only ten-fifteen minutes per day to quickly check my email account and answer WhatsApp massages. There were a few updates sent out to my mom and friends and that was it. The rest of the time my mobile phone was set to flight mode. It is amazing how long the battery life actually was once I refrained from surfing the entire time. 🙂
During hikes and walks I left my phone at my accommodation, which meant not taking pictures and videos while doing sightseeing. This gave me a chance to really explore the surrounding, rather than being constantly distracted by taking hundreds of photos, that I won’t ever look at again anyway. I feel I was really present this way and could absorb everything down to the smallest details.
Unplugging results in having more time on hand which I used to read books instead of scrolling mindlessly on social media. One might think being online saves time and helps to get more done. On the contrary, I felt like unplugged days were longer and more productive. I even started writing in my journal again, like I used to love doing back in the days when internet was not a household asset.
Another perception in my opinion, that those internet users who spend too much time on social media tend to follow dreams of others, copy them and become a “product” of the online world. One is constantly exposed to advertisements and influencers. One always measure herself to others rather than being grateful for the wonderful being she already is. Not to mention the internet news portals which are inundated with negative and often disturbing happenings around the world.
To conclude, being away from my phone gave me quality time to reflect on myself and to pay attention to my inner voice, which tells me exactly what I really want, if I listen carefully. Living a more mindful, offline lifestyle can greatly enhance one’s life. We can spend more time on reading, writing, being creative, doing more sport and learning new skills. Our phones and other gadgets are big part of our lives today and I am not saying that we should get rid of them. They are very useful tools, if we find the right balance. Now I am back to normal and I am obviously using my phone again, but the little experiment made me think twice before I reach for my cell phone for entertainment. Just be mindful with the amount of time spending online and know that there is a wonderful world out there waiting to be explored- the REAL WORLD it is!