I now know what it feels like to be truly “unplugged.” For the entire week of our Caribbean
cruise, I was unable to access the Internet or send or receive emails or texts. I couldn't scan
Facebook or Pinterest. I couldn't even confirm the balance in my checking account through my
bank’s app. The cruise line did offer a costly Wi-fi package, but we decided to spend our money
on our onshore excursions instead. I let my phone die, shoved it to the bottom of my suitcase,
and proceeded to be fully present to my long-anticipated vacation.
As the days wore on, I noticed a loosening of my shoulder muscles, my jaw relaxing. I spent
time waiting in lines for dinner, a drink or my shore tour to start talking with my fellow
vacationers. Instead of checking my phone, I watched the waves foam against the sand and
tracked the flight of a flock of cormorants that followed us into port. I noticed the subtle
differences of the light playing on the ocean at dusk, beneath cloudy skies, when the moon was
rising. I woke up each morning and ended each night without updating my Facebook status or
keeping current on emails. I'm hardly a slave to technology, but within 24 hours of being
“phone-free”, my mind was quieter, my pace slower, my breathing deeper. No doubt being on
vacation brought me a renewed sense of calm and peace. But being completely inaccessible to
the connectivity that is everpresent in our modern world provided my with a freedom and
lightness I've not experienced in many years. I'm hoping to challenge myself in my daily life to
take “breaks” from my internet connections on a more regular basis. Vacations aren't the only
times I could benefit from being more present. And both my body and my mind benefit when I
allow myself to turn off, step away and disconnect from blinking cursors and pinging texts.
Perhaps I can find inspiration and relaxation not only in a tropical vista, but in my own backyard.