Travel, or the need to step out of our self-constructed little boxes (like the Like)

I recently traveled by air three hours away, by feel a world away, for a week. Before I left I decided to go media-free, meaning I did not access my messaging systems or social media outlets while I was gone.

That's right: no email, no voicemail, no texting, no internet searches, no posting, no Likes, no work. And? It was anxious-making. It was disconcerting. It was awesome. In that order. I could feel my brain settling down, relaxing, ceasing its frenetic pinball-like frenzy of to-dos and must-sees, just as my body settled down and unkinked.

I could read a book without that skittering sound of mice on the move, that need to see what else is happening or being said or done. I could sit and contemplate the ocean without making a mental list of other things I should be doing. I could have a conversation with a family member without a ping or a ding of any kind. I could be glad in all of this.

It didn't happen instantly; it took a few days, during which I was a little twitchy, like someone in withdrawal, though from something so nebulous it can't be touched or even named all that well. The unfortunate part was that I only had a week, so before I knew it, I was back (see, I'm back). But it made me think.

What is the cost of all this frenetic activity we all engage in to be "with it" and "in it" rather than just being? Is this the root of modern stress, the need to constantly be doing and responding to doing? I live in the northeast, which is known for its chilliness, both of three of its seasons and of its people. I honestly do find people nicer in other parts of the country and of the world. I am not alone in this; this is where stereotypes come from, rarely from nothing. I wonder if I am nicer when I am elsewhere. Let me know if you see me, will you?

Photo by Charlotte Jane Feldman


  1. I had the same exact experience this holiday season... one week unplugged - although I did have my phone with me non stop to take photos of sand, and waves and babies and smiles... it was awesome indeed!

    And, I think you are nice in the Northeast, too! :) Nice to reconnect!

  2. I agree and have been having the same experience with my devices. I can't seem to read or write without having to check email, Facebook, my blog, etc. What I'm losing is the continuous going-on-being state that I need to create. Doing is overrated. Multi-tasking a sham. The only real and true things come from being in the place where you were last week: whole, free.


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