Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Vacation Disconnected!

So, one thing I noticed on a recent trip to the beach was everyone on phones....walking & texting, talking, taking self-ies, us-ies, and videos...almost every person was engulfed in their cell phones.

I have to admit, my blogging and addiction to Twitter also kept me in close reach of my phone.

It all made me think, why not have a vacation completely disconnected?  No phone, no computers....just a nice place, good company and a great time.  You have to be old to say this, but, when I grew up, we did not have cell phones.  Looking back, there was a "freedom" involved with leaving out on vacation or on a small road trip.  Doing too much research on a location, places to eat, things to see, can cause you to set expectations that are often hard to meet, thus taking away from the experience.  Sure, you wouldn't want to blindly stumble into the wrong section of Philly with no phone...most resort areas and popular vacation spots are better discovered in person then online...the smells will be better, the tastes will be more stimulating, the experience will be more exciting.

It would go something like this...

Vacation Disconnected

Imagine a time before cell phones, the internet, and amazing home entertainment systems...

A time when people had to venture out of the house to discover new things and places, without the help of an App, a travel blog, or Google Maps...

A vacation where you learned about the new surroundings of your vacation spot, getting more familiar with each trip...

A multitude of "You just had to be there" moments and memories that will never be watered down by countless pictures, videos, texts, and interruptions...

A real physical connection and experience, uninhibited by technology...

This is possible...with a little self control, you can step back into a time when vacations literally gave you a break from your day-to-day life.

  • Find a Destination!  Older, more established vacation spots are ideal for a techy-free adventure...vintage beach boardwalks, historic landmarks and parks, and small resort towns specifically.
  • Don't Over-Research!  Do some research on your destination, finding maybe one or two key things to look for or see.  Doing too much research will cause you to set expectations that could be hard to reach and that take away from your experience.
  • Know the Roads!  Since you will not be allowing technology to interfere with your experience, you will not have any back-up.  Print some maps.  Most hotels provide maps of the local sights, as well.  Go old school...no Nav!
  • No Gadgets!  No I-Pods, I-Pads, Tablets, Laptops, Smartphones, or anything that connects to the internet.  
  • Cell Phones Off!  It could be dangerous to venture into uncharted territory without a cell phone...so take it with you, just do yourself a favor and turn it off!  
  • No Internet!  Just avoid the internet, even if the hotel has a computer you can use.  If you need to find and discover things, do it the old fashion way, talk to people or just go out and discover things on your own!
  • Take Pictures!  Digital cameras are fine to record a record of your trip, if you still have one!  These days, most people use their phones for this...so sure, you COULD use your phone this way, but if so, turn in on Airplane Mode...this will avoid updates, dings, calls, and all those pesky distractions.  Plus, digital cameras often have a much longer battery life then cell phones.
  • Enjoy the Outdoors!  Do not just lay around the room, go out and enjoy the new environment you set out to discover!  
  • Nigh-Time TV Only!  It's perfectly understandable, that after a long day of walking, discovering and adventuring, you may want to settle down and relax in the evening and watch some TV.  One thing I might suggest, though, is choosing programming that attracts the rest of your fellow travelers (friends, family, etc)...by this point, most kids are willing to watch anything to get in some TV time!
  • Plunder and Discover!  You came all the way to where-ever you chose, get out there and explore every day!  Even rainy days can lead to indoor discoveries (like museums, shopping, show, etc).
  • Don't Get Distracted!  Don't let anything petty get in the way of your good time!
  • Have Fun!  Fun can be derived from millions of experiences...go out and have it!  People need to sometimes be reminded how to have fun without the guidance of others and some smart-phone App.

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