Before we left on our trip to South America, things were different. I worked with technology every day. But I do remember a time before my laptop and I were fused together. I had computers, yes, but back then, I refused to own a laptop.
Because I knew myself. I owned and ran a busy a design / branding agency and I was a workaholic. I spend at least 60+ hours a week in front of my duel giga-something apples in the office loft, (which for many years also happened to where I resided).
For what reason could I possibly need a laptop too?
My fear was, I’d take the laptop into my bed and never get any separation from work, technology and being connected. I’d never have a break.
Yes. I know myself. Well.
I was a self proclaimed work-aholic for oh so many years. Prior to our travels, it was worse. I am committed, I am passionate and I am focussed. And I knew one thing for sure: Back then, I would have taken my laptop into bed with me. Without a doubt.
I bought my first laptop for our trip and for the last five years, my laptop has been my lifeline. I use my laptop to earn a living, to stay connected with friends and family and even to provide entertainment watching movies and tv shows and listening to music.
I couldn’t imagine traveling long-term without a laptop. I couldn’t work without one, support ourselves, or manage to stay connected. So, when Miro and I decided to travel to Ecuador for 10 days and we decided to both go without our personal laptop computers, it was a monumental decision for both of us. (I am not saying we didn’t use the internet cafes once a day to check in, but it was an intentional choice at that point, rather than wasting hours in front of our computers.)
So, what happened as a result of this little experiment?
Besides the obvious (not being in front of the computer all day and night) I noticed some miraculously wonderful side effects of being computer-free:
- We did not have to worry about leaving our valuable computers in our hostel room while we were out enjoying the beach.
- We spent all of our time together interacting and playing (multiple card and chess games) with one another
- We laughed so much together, the days seemed to be filled with nothing but laughter and joy
- We experienced the days as being longer and we had more time.
- We were more present at every meal, every interaction, every activity.
- We exercised creative ways to entertain ourselves; taking walks, pretending we were super-spies, drawing in the sand and making new friends.
Sometimes, you gotta just take a break.
Sometimes you gotta give yourself a few computer-free days, whether you are traveling or not.
Photo credit top photo: www.gdefon. com.