Our goal was to be at least 95% unplugged; and, for most of those sixteen days, we were completely old-school. We would sit and be idle, and that was okay. We even talked to each other like stagecoach days. Sometimes we would read or write.
I wrote every day on our journey, documenting my attempts to regress (or is it progress?). In the end, I had written this book. Oh, I must mention that since this was also our end-of-season vacation, we fully celebrated happy hour most days.
Keeping Serendipity Alive
Paper Maps, No Apps: An Unplugged Travel Adventure was integral to the project from the start. I hoped documenting our journey would help my readers find a balance in this faster than light and brave new world.
I wanted to record the journey in a lighthearted way and show we can still have fun without technology and make fun of our own habits. I’ll be the first to admit it takes a conscious effort on my part not to be manipulated by the temptation in my hand. This book will serve as my constant reminder to be present. It’s my own to-do list. High on the list are:
• Stay balanced. I hope to be personally vigilant about balancing my time in the natural interpersonal world with my time connecting through technology. I am not preaching total abstinence. Technology breaks may mean something different to each of us, but balance is the essence of an enriched life.
• Read. My attention span for reading print and e-books keeps shortening; but I know that the more I read, the more I’ll get my reading brain back. Since it is almost inevitable to get caught up in the maelstrom of distraction technology, there is a pressing need to counter this power. The act of reading a physical book quiets and calms us and allows us to become part of the story in a way no quick pop-up headline can. I do like e-books and digital readers, but the experience of a physical book incorporates the sense of touch and smell. Have you ever picked up a new book and sniffed the pages while flipping through?
• Meditate. Another practice to counter-balance constant distraction and disruption is meditation. In my opinion, it will top the list in years to come. In terms of quieting the mind and experiencing many physical benefits, too, it is second to none. Through meditation, you can achieve focus, which is the polar opposite of distraction.
Enough of the Technological Zombie Talk!
I hope you’ll find some great ideas in these pages; but, most of all, I hope you’ll laugh with me at ourselves and our world. I find it hilarious there is even a need for a cleanse like this in the first place, but enough of the scary technology zombie apocalypse talk. Are you ready to have some fun? Sit back, turn these pages, and join us on our simple journey. Here’s what life can look like without smart devices.
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