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What I learned from three weeks camping with no internet or telephone

 

We like to take a good long break from “civilization” every year by going to remote places for several weeks every summer. It’s great to get away from the normal routine of city life – even if it means doing without the comforts of home for a while! There is something very cathartic about getting back to basics in nature. I love to live amongst the trees, eagles, ravens, deer and hear the waves from the beach. I find the great outdoors offers such healing powers as well as serenity and clarity to help get me grounded again after a busy year.

 

More being, less doing.

 

 

One blessing or curse is the fact that ancient rainforests, rugged remote coastlines and uninhabited forests and isolated lakes do not come with internet access. Thank goodness! That’s part of the charm. But also, darn, it’s not easy being green.

 

What is the longest you have gone without internet?

 

I’ve done a few “cell phone/internet cleanses” in my life. For example, when I travelled by myself to Thailand and several African countries. I did not want to travel with valuables and also anticipated not having cell access, so I simply left it at home. And I wanted to see what it would feel like to truly be without it. All of these were before I had a family.

 

 

It’s funny how naked and vulnerable you feel without technology as your crutch and safety net.

 

Admittedly, this was a different feeling than going into the wilderness with my family. Less raw but no less adventurous! Here some excerpts of the good and the tricky.

 

The Good:

  • Quality family time doing low tech activities like riding bikes, swinging in a hammock, looking out for whales in the ocean and picking fruit off the trees of in wild orchard.
  • Focusing on the moment with family instead of balancing other competing interests of work life.
  • Not working on the computer answering emails or getting lost researching topics for hours each day.
  • Coming across like-minded folks, who could not care less about what they look like, ‘cause who cares in the middle of nowhere, right?
  • Stumbling across just the right book for this moment of time in your life at an old hidden away second-hand book store. And having the time to read it. This trip, it was a copy of Eckart Tole’s book, A New Earth.

 

The Tricky: In a nutshell, realizing just how much you rely on the internet for daily information … and then not having it!

  • No access to the weather forecast so not knowing what the weather has in store for you.
  • Until when the only grocery store is open to and where the heck it is.
  • Calling for help when your car breaks down.
  • Posting a cute shot on Instagram or generally connecting with people far away for that matter, like family and friends.
  • Being able to answer random questions immediately by googling them.
    • For example, as I first wrote this, I had this burning desire to know who the last English monarch was to rule with sovereign power before a more democratic parliamentarian political system was adopted. Yup, I just wanted to know. Not sure where that question came from. If you simply must know some trivia, you’ve got to wait old school style until you come across a library or someone’s old encyclopedia collection in the corner of a dialect cabin … or ask around until you find someone who knows.

 

Or, dread the thought, just not know something for a while!

 

 

So what did I learn from the experience of (next to) no internet access for three weeks? Here is my list:

One. It is okay to not know something some of the time.

Two. It allows you to regain a healthier relationship with time.

Three. Become more creative around communicating with people – old school by talking or writing on paper.

Four. It’s okay to not be available to everyone all of the time. And feeling how freeing this is (once you get over the initial panic of it).

Five. Keeping life simple allows your brain to breathe.

Six. Sometimes you can find more answers staring at the stars than a computer screen.

Seven. Re-discovering your true inner voice by connecting to the essence of nature.

Eight. Be present in the moment while watching your child delight in digging wet sand between her fingers in an effort to finding tiny crabs hiding under cool stones by the sea.

 

 

Have you tried “nature therapy” sans technology? If yes, please share your experience below or on my Facebook page (click here). If you have not tried it, I dare you to do so and be curious what shifts for you. It does not need to be three weeks! Maybe just a weekend? And see what happens.

 

This was the second installment of my “What I learned from …” series. I hope you enjoyed it!

 

Namaste,

Simone

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