In a world that is so connected by social media and technology, it’s hard to imagine a vacation without constant connectivity. A few weeks ago we took a seven day long vacation as a family and managed to make it feel like we were throwing it back to the ’90s. For a large part of the week I didn’t even know where my phone was. The few times that I did manage to bring my phone with me was to simply use it as a camera.
Do you remember taking vacations as a kid in the ’80’s or ’90’s? You took a looooong ride in a car, fighting with your siblings most of the way and arguing about who got to stretch out in the backseat (because what even were seatbelt laws?).
After several hours of being trapped in the car and annoying your parents to death with the constant “Are we there yet?” you finally arrived at your vacation destination. And from that moment on you were essentially off the grid.
You spent the entire vacation connecting with the people around you, the location you were vacationing in and making memories along the way.
Your mom might’ve taken her chunky rectangular camera on the beach to snap some pictures of you playing in the ocean but you’d only find out a week or so later when you developed them that most were blurry or hazy. Or your dad would walk around like a crew member of The Real World with a giant camcorder on his shoulder with its very own foam covered mic sticking out the side.
This was the extent of technology that seeped into your perfect beach vacation or trip to the Grand Canyon and it was glorious. Some of my favorite memories from childhood are Rummy tournaments with my grandparents during our yearly family beach trip.
Fast forward to today and it’s hard to imagine taking a vacation without actively documenting it in real-time for everyone to see. If you didn’t Insta-story that beach sunset did it even happen?
I know this seems like a bit of a weird take for someone who is just getting their feet wet in the blogging world. Yes, I love to share my life experiences and stories here on this blog. And yes, I love to connect with so many of you on social media and I truly think that meaningful connections can be made via social media.
So it may seem like an odd position for me to take when I say that I had one of the most relaxing, care-free vacations I have ever taken this year. Or at least as relaxing as a vacation with two small children can be. haha!
These are some of the loose guidelines I placed for myself to make my beach vacation super memorable and relaxing:
No phone with me except as a camera
I only brought my phone with me onto the beach a handful of days during our vacation. On the days that I did bring it with me, I only used it to take videos and pictures of my kids playing. I saved my Insta-scroll for maybe 5 minutes at night before bed after I was done hanging out with everyone for the day.
I focused on really living in the moment instead of trying to come up with an Instagram caption to describe the moment. You can’t imagine how freeing it was to sit and be in the moment and not have to worry about “updating” the world.
Pick a technology-free activity
I absolutely love to read and am the biggest book nerd ever. (See some of my recent reading favorites) My husband would never in a million years sit and read a book on the beach. He played cornhole with our family the whole week while I drug my chair down by the water, dug my toes in the sand and spent my days watching my kids play while getting lost in another book world.
It doesn’t matter what your technology-free activity is but pick something you enjoy and get off your phone. You could play cards, fly kites, go to museums, take a hike. It depends on what your vacation destination is but there are so many things to do. Isn’t that kind of the whole point of a vacation anyway, to enjoy the sights and the experience of the place you traveled to? You can’t do that if your nose is buried in Facebook.
I plan on making an effort to make every vacation we take from here on out unplugged. I really spent more quality time with my family and got to play more with my kids when I was so worried about documenting the experience.