I feel like one of those “I Survived!” kids books. The ones my 8 year old son loves to read that talk about kids surviving notable various events in history. Only my story is far less notable to society. I simply survived a week “off the grid” while on vacation.
In this world of constant connectively (something I feel strongly due to my blogging and related social media), it’s a bizarre thing to just cut it off completely. Particularly for an extended period of time. Sure we might turn off during work or while at church, but how many other times are we checking our phones, tablets, and computers. Sometimes more than we even realize.
Last week our family took a 7-night Disney cruise. We planned it months in advance and eagerly anticipated the fun ahead. I wanted to be in the moment. I wanted to participate. I didn’t want to be sucked into the internet and I certainly didn’t want to pay for WiFi on the ship. Instead, shortly after the cruise ship departed from Cape Canaveral on May 19th, I turned my phone to Airplane mode and disconnected.
At first, cutting free of the internet was awkward. I found myself instinctively hitting a social media app and then quickly closing it out as I remembered it wouldn’t work. I was surprised when I quit doing this during our first full day.
I did carry my phone with me and used it regularly. I took photos and videos with it. I used the cruise app to check daily events plus send messages to my husband and mom. But I wasn’t checking Facebook or sharing cute photos on Instagram (welcome to the overload of Disney Cruise shots there now). I was in the moment. I was enjoying my vacation and relaxing.
I did reconnect briefly during our stop in the US Virgin Islands. I sent quick text messages to my siblings and father to tell them we’d arrived safely and were enjoying our cruise. I momentarily glanced at Facebook and had a couple of likes. I didn’t make any posts though and I flipped it off almost as quickly as I turned it on. I didn’t want to get sucked in and miss out on our adventures.
While it was strange at this point where we are so used to constant connections and access to the internet, to disconnect and go off the grid. It was also wonderful. I didn’t really miss it. I fully enjoyed our vacation and time with my family.
Have you intentionally disconnected and gone off the grid? How was your experience?
P.S. If I owe you an email, bear with me. I’m still working my way through my inbox.