The Brit and I finished out 2017 with a week of unplugging (or at least trying to) in Lund, BC. Lund is a little seaside village just north of Powell River, and depending on where you are, there is no cellular signal. It’s the perfect place for such an endeavour.
But unplugging is a difficult thing these days; a conversation I was having with one of my work vendors over lunch this past Friday. Because almost everywhere has wi-fi (including the lovely and very hygge Finn Bay Farm Retreat cabin that the Brit and I stayed for a week). You want to go on vacation to relax, but you want to be good at your job and/or there’s often a case of FOMO. Or like me, maybe you just really enjoy Instagram. And people of all ages seem to be very attached their electronics these days. (I am very guilty of this with my phone.)
I had the same ‘dilemma’ when I was in Greece a few years ago for a yoga retreat. My compromise with myself was that I would sort through email to get rid of junk and read some articles but I wouldn’t go on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter for the week. This go-round, I blogged a bit and ended up taking over the retreat’s Instagram, but let me tell you… I hadn’t been as relaxed as I was at the end of December probably since I was Greece. I was with my favourite person, we were in a beautiful place, and I felt… balanced. And that is really what we are trying to achieve life, right? Not extremes, but balance, and growing with the changes in the world.
So really, unplugging isn’t so much about the choice to unplug, but the HOW we choose to unplug. I’ve realized that I don’t need to completely cut myself off in order to enjoy myself and BE with the people I’m with. So here are my four favourite ways to unplug while travelling (which can also be great for at home as well!)
1. Put The Phone DOWN
This is a hard one for me as I have a personal and a work phone. And because my personal phone is also my camera 90% of the time, and I’m trying to build my blog and Instagram ‘brand’. But some of my best travel memories are ones that I just ENJOYED. Like being in the hot tub at our cute little cabin at Finn Bay Farm while it was snowing and enjoying the magic of it all with my guy. (Not going to lie, I took a picture, but then I wrapped my phone in a plastic bag and put it under my umbrella.) Or playing with the dogs at Finn Bay Farm. (I didn’t know The Brit had taken the below picture until after. I don’t love dogs at all, do I?) You don’t need your phone all the time. So put it away for a bit.
Airplane mode for an hour or two is also a great option, and still gives you your phone camera. It also will give your battery – and your brain – a break, so there’s also that bonus!
2. Try Something New
For me, a huge part of travelling is about trying new things. It might be food, beverage, or a new activity. Like chopping wood.
Relaxing seems to be a novelty in our world, so there’s that, too. 😉
3. Get Lost
There is something very liberating about being somewhere (safe, obviously) and either not being able to Google map or choosing not to use Google maps. It allows for discovery that you wouldn’t otherwise have and is obviously the way people used to travel and explore smartphones. The Brit and I went trekking through the unexpected, but very beautiful snow to Diver’s Rock and it was worth the wander! I also have a very good memory of being in Edinburgh the second time I had visited and got very lost while out on my own. But I had the BEST time.
4. Read a Book
I love my Kobo e-reader. It’s convenient and compact, but nothing beats turning a crisp page, and what better way to unplug from the world than diving into someone else’s? Particularly when reading by a wood burning fire with a cup of tea or glass of wine. I mean, you can’t really get any more hygge than that!
I always bring a couple books on a road trip or purchase one in the airport bookshop. Reading relaxes me and I love biographies, most kinds of fiction, and what I would call betterment books.
My 2018 Reading List
I’ve only chosen a few because I know there are going to be some new releases that will be added to the list!
What I’m reading now:
Nora Roberts has been my favourite author for a very long time. This one is a bit of a departure from her usual stuff or even from her J.D. Robb mystery books, but it’s been a gripping read so far!
On the list:
Because I want to know!!
This lady is amazing. I’ve had the opportunity to take a workshop with her in Vancouver and she is very good at making meditation accessible for our crazy world. She keeps it real and Oprah love her. And her books are inspiring.
Because I need to be better at this. Some things matter and some things don’t, but it’s harder to get to that latter point. I have this on order and am very much looking forward to reading it.
Reese Witherspoon is one of the people in Hollywood I admire because she is following her passion for buying the rights for books (like this one) with strong female characters (Girl on a Train, Big Little Lies) and making movies that matter to her. If she recommends it, I will read it.
I saw this man in concert when I was about 19 and my friend and I were the youngest ones there my a mile. But we had a great time, and The Boss puts on a solid show with his E Street Band. I’m fascinated by biographies and I’m looking forward to reading this one.
Gurmukh is my yoga teacher’s teacher. She used to be the Kundalini and prenatal yoga teacher to the stars (like Cindy Crawford), and she has an amazing story. She is very thoughtful with her insights and teacing and can make you wave your arms around for twenty minutes that go by in the blink of an eye – it was an amazing class. The human talents are our chakras and this is a book I MUST read in 2018 because I am remiss…
What’s on your reading list? How do you unplug?
“You’re never alone when you’re reading a book.”
~ Susan Wiggs