I feel that I’m apologizing a lot lately for being MIA (missing in action), truth is, I don’t feel sorry at all. My work requires me to spend a humongous time in front of a screen and to be honest it makes me value more the time I spend offline and outdoors.
I remember I went on a serious digital detox for two straight weeks only a couple of months ago.
Each day after I finished work, I allowed myself 15 minutes to call my family and tell them that I was still alive. I deleted all my social media apps to avoid the temptation of checking them and I switched off my phone. On weekends I went completely off without even touching my phone or any device.
I initially planned to be on detox for 4 days but I ended up being away for 2 weeks. The first few days were awful. But now I seriously cringe whenever someone tells me: “I wish I had more time for this and that” or “there aren’t enough hours in the day” I want to scream: well, there are! You simply let technology and social media take over your ONE precious life.
More free time
I was surprised how much I managed to get done in just two weeks. I started journaling, reading more, cooking with friends and spent more time outdoors.
A clear, more powerful mind
Unplugging allowed my mind to clear, we are all bombarded with tons of information and our minds abruptly have to deal with all of it. Surprisingly the lack of noise made me more engaged in every activity I tried and I slept like a baby.
I didn’t miss anything
I seriously feared I’m going to miss out on my social life but this just made me realize who is really important. Moreover, it enabled me to connect on a deeper level with the people around me.
Detox on vacation
The most important thing I learned is to be more present. It is so easy for me now to forget I even have a phone, especially when I’m on vacation. As a matter of fact, that’s the easiest way to disconnect.
If you want to give it a try, here’s how to prepare for a digital detox and still have a perfect vacation:
Set an auto reply
… and not just on your work account. Let your friends know you’re not going to check any emails and stick to it!
Delete all your social media apps
Don’t just turn off your notifications, I bet you’d be tempted to check your messages… instead, just remove all distractions
Do research beforehand
I get it, you want to find the best ranked restaurant in town. I’m with you on that. But just do your research properly before going on a vacation and try using a physical map when you’re on the location. Nothing is more adventurous than getting lost.
Pack non digital tools to keep you entertained and start a journal
Don’t forget your books at home and do bring with you a notebook and a pen. Who knows when the inspiration strikes?!
Learn something new
Attend a cooking class in a foreign country or start learning the language!
I actually started my detox before my two weeks-off grid. On each vacation I spent less and less time online. The key is to keep yourself occupied doing other things.
I can go for months without any technology whenever I’m by the beach. Sailing, swimming and staring at a sunset is all I need to really switch off.
The Arctic Circle
Few places I visited have so much magic. Lapland made me feel like a child again, and each moment I spent there will definitely be unforgettable. This was more like a forced detox, we had -20°C and I was afraid my phone will not make it through the low temperatures, so I barely used it.
Don’t forget your time is the most valuable thing you have, spend it wisely, spend it outdoors and with the people you love.