Turned off my phone.
Didn’t look back.
I went on a cruise to Alaska.
As much joy as excitement as I experienced over the week, I did without some crucial things as well:
1. Cell Service/Wifi
To avoid surcharges from using the ship’s cell tower, I turned off my phone for five days, had no contact with anyone outside my traveling party and loved it. I didn’t miss checking Facebook incessantly or the seemingly constant ding of messages. I did have LOTS of emails to respond to when I returned and that process was somewhat arduous. But I enjoyed being present and not distracted as I spent time with friends who live in different states.
I enjoy Coke. It is a zero-calorie pleasure I at times allow myself. I get caffeine headaches so I was worried about doing without. But since soda was a upcharge on the ship, and I’d determined that I’d spent enough just to get myself on the ship, I wasn’t going to splurge on soda. I didn’t miss that either. I had delightful tea times with friends, sans cell phones!
We visited the land of the midnight sun. Literally. The further north we traveled the sun set around midnight and rose again at 3 am. Most of the time we were already in bed before midnight. So I actually was never conscious during the few nighttime hours we had. We barricaded the windows and lined towels around the cracks in the curtains, and slept soundly with bright sunshine outside.
This trip truly was a retreat. I had no idea how quickly ties with these three “essentials” could be cut when I was forced to do without. So often I think that the more things I own, the more they actually own me. I want upgrades or faster models or more options. But this week I learned that I can escape. Just take me away, put me on a ship with good friends, and blackout curtains and I will delightedly not look back.
What holds sway in your life? What would you like to practice doing without for a week?