Let's be honest: You may feel like you're a little too attached to your cell phone. It goes everywhere with you, including on vacation. While you typically go on vacation to kick back and relax, your phone seemingly keeps you attached to your social life back home. It's extremely helpful to stay connected with loved ones when you're away, but it can also prevent you from being fully present. So, I'm here to tell you about a time when I traveled without my cell phone for a week in Guatemala. (I actually lost it, and it taught me few lessons.)
The internet and smartphones have made travel seem more attainable than ever before. You can book a vacation within minutes these days. And once you arrive at your destination, you can rely on social media friends to provide recommendations, and apps to help guide you along the way. This can be extremely useful, but isn't travel about disconnecting and recharging? Isn't it about learning more about yourself, or at least, finding that really cool sight?
When I lost my phone, I was distraught and wondered how I would take photos and refer to any recommendations I saved on my phone. Well, I ended up learning what it means to truly disconnect, to reconnect with myself and the world around me.
I Truly Unplugged
In society today, most of us are constantly plugged in. You're getting notifications to check text messages, social media feeds, emails, or news feeds. Unfortunately, this can lead to a loss of focus. It's really difficult to be in the present moment when so many things are begging for your attention.
When I traveled without a phone, naturally, I lost the urge to constantly check my phone. I wasn't anticipating the next notification, so I could fully focus on my surroundings. After all, the notifications would be there when I returned home.
This allowed me to be completely present and tap into my intuition. I disconnected from the social media world, which allowed me to reconnect with myself.
I Was More Spontaneous
It's no secret that the internet has made travel a lot more accessible and attainable. You can search for the cheapest flights to book, the trendiest restaurants to eat at, and the most Instagrammable places to visit. This can be really helpful, but it can also hold you back from experiencing the true essence of travel. There's nothing like discovering an art gallery on your own, or stumbling upon a beautiful landscape by chance.
As a full-time traveler, my cell phone had always been crucial during my adventures. I used the maps to navigate new places, and review websites to make sure that I booked legit places to stay. Without my map app, I was required to ask people for directions, and this led me to meeting new friends. Without my social media, I was required to search for restaurants and discover cool spots all on my own.
Of course, the choice is entirely up to you whether or not you want to keep your phone off during your next adventure with your friends. But, I will say, my unplugged experience was extremely refreshing, and I felt like a true explorer.