Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Low-Tech No-Tech Travel

Mindful Echo travels sans cellphone.

In my last post I extolled the virtues of my cellphone in terms of its helpfulness when it comes to useful apps for conscientious shopping. I openly admitted my dependence on the device. I declared myself a game-playing, text-typing, social media addict. I tempted fate.

Only a few days after that post, my phone stopped holding a charge. It just up and died without so much as a goodbye.

At the same time, my partner was out hiking with our dog when his own smartphone slipped through his fingers and into the lake. Despite emergency rice surgery conducted on the device, it was not to be recovered.

I weighed the pros and cons between buying a new phone, switching contracts, and paying for costly repairs. Meanwhile, we were setting off for a few days of travel across Nova Scotia's South Shore and then back through the beautiful Annapolis Valley. It wasn't to be a huge trip - more of a staycation, really...except neither I nor my partner had ever explored these areas before. We were essentially heading into the great unknown without our trusted safety nets. We had to go about navigating the trip the old fashioned way: we had to use a map.

To be honest though, it wasn't as bad as I had expected it to be. We didn't really get lost and I rediscovered my camera - although I did miss the convenience of having my iPhone ever-ready to snap a pic of my lunch and upload it to Instagram.

It also would have been nice to have a way for emergency communication as we hiked through the Kejimkujik National Park Seaside Trail, which was basically a haunted trail thick with the spookiest, densest fog I've ever seen.

Haunting, eh?
Having a phone might have also been good if we were attacked by any of the vicious wildlife who inhabits the area. Like this guy:

Just kidding. Ol' porcupine here just couldn't find any lunch amidst the fog. 

Seriously though. I cannot say enough about how the fog contributed to the eerie atmosphere. At first glance it made me think this inukshuk was alive:

She just sits on the rocks, guarding the beach.
Overall though, the ability to disconnect outweighed the convenience of carrying a phone. I could honestly be out-of-contact and truly give myself time to decompress away from the responsibilities of my work and social life.

I would recommend leaving the house without a phone more often. Being without quick access to that technology better facilitates the state of mindfulness that most of us strive towards with our downtime. The ability to focus on the task at hand, without distraction or obligation, was was made this one a real vacation.


Green Bean said...

Great reminder. I need to do a better job of this - especially with walks, hikes and other "in nature" events.

Mindful Echo said...

It's true. Although I did still stop to take pictures, it was nice not worrying about having to find reception to make sure I wasn't missing any pointless texts or calls.

Eco Yogini said...

what is interesting, is that when Andrew and I went through the Cabot Trail, we used the GPS option for directions... and had to revert to the good ole analog map at least a dozen times.

ps- Keji looks AWESOME!!! sigh. i am so meant to live in NS, i heart the fog....


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