First of all let me acknowledge the irony in writing a post for a blog about going off the grid on holiday…I guess I’ve dived back onto the grid upon my return!
I recently travelled to Fiji accompanied by my 2 year old daughter and my 21 year old cousin, a girls trip away. As a confirmed traveller I was happy to volunteer my daughter and myself as companions for my cousin’s first overseas trip before she ventures to Europe at the end of the year on her solo adventure.
I’ve never been to Fiji, or had a purely resort based holiday, and with what felt like a million things going through my head at home I decided to take a break from technology while we were away. Challenge accepted!
There were a few things I noticed while we were away:
- Being present – I could really relax into whatever we were doing, whether we were enjoying a meal, a swim or a cocktail, all we were doing was being together, staring at sunsets or enjoying a little quiet time.
- No news is good news – I had no idea what was going on in the world. My social media feeds are often full of opinion pieces on the latest ridiculous presidential candidate behaviour, the impact of gender stereotyping and the horror and feelings of impotence of refugees and asylum seekers so it was absolutely gratifying to be well out of that loop.
- Noticing our world – every morning we woke up, looked out the front door of our bure and agreed – the view is amazing, we should take a picture! Of course we didn’t need to because the view was the same, and AMAZING every day. It was luxury to be able to just enjoy it.
Over the past few years I have taken some steps to try to minimise the impact of technology on my life. I stopped watching the news – among all the wonderful and amazing things and people in our world, the media really only focuses on the sensational and miserable. I’ve also stopped using my phone as my alarm. I literally went out and bought a $40 old school clock radio so my phone can charge overnight in another room and isn’t the first and last thing I see each day. That certainly made my getting out of bed routine much quicker.
Was it worth it? Definitely!
While we only had five nights away, we were able to take part in the activities, fit in two massages (each!) and make sure we were on time for the daily “happy two hours” at the poolside bar before dinner.
I’m sure my memories of the holiday are much more deeply embedded because I actually paid attention while I was there.
Was it easy? Hmmm…In fact, it really was.
It helped that I would have had to pay for wifi, or significant overseas roaming, but setting the intention at the outset was pretty easy to keep. Interestingly, I was using my mobile phone as a camera (although no posting) and I was surprised and a little embarrassed to note how often I clicked on the home screen. There was never going to be anything to see, but I guess old habits die hard!
Would I do it again? ABSOLUTELY!
It was liberating. I didn’t experience much in the way of FOMO, although I must admit to a little guilt when I realised that Instagram as so concerned about my lack of activity that they sent me an email…poor things, they must have been worried sick.