So many of us today are addicted to electronics. Whether it be our smart phones, tablets, laptops, or desktops, one way or another we need our electronic fix. While many of us live vicariously through Instagram pictures and Twitter posts of others, there are those among us who have been able to cut themselves off from the modern age, unplugging their lives from the chaos of technology, and social media constantly hounds us everywhere.
Summer is the time when many individuals, couples, and families partake in the good ol’ vacation, and it’s a great time to get unplugged. Whether there’s minimal phone service or no internet, taking the time to check out from “life” not only helps one’s overall spirit, but it can also help de-stress the mind. The idea of cutting yourself off from your phone, tablet, or computer might cause a little fear and anxiety, and that’s normal. But let’s face it: if you’re part of a family or a couple, it’s likely the most important person or people will be traveling with you, so take this time to turn off the phone/tablet or power off the laptop and escape to the beautiful world around you.
Here are seven ideas on how to spend your unplugged vacation:
This might seem like the most obvious suggestion, but seriously, when was the last time you settled down with a good book? Take this time to read the best seller that’s been sitting on your nightstand for two months, or buy some cheap summer paperbacks from your local bookstore. Even better: go to the library and check out some books. An unplugged vacation is the perfect time to get lost in a book.
A lot of adults think games are for kids, but they are so wrong! Whether you’re playing a card game, board game, or pulling out the water guns covered in dust in your garage, games not only pass the time, but they are totally fun for people of all ages.
You don’t have to be an avid sportsman to try fishing. All it requires is a stick/pole, a line, and some bait. If you want to go all out, try fly fishing. You never know — you might just catch your dinner, or make some memories with your family or significant other.
Literally, go for a hike! Now is the best time to find a local trail and discover some new terrain. Hiking is a great source of exercise. Exercising triggers your body to produce endorphins which interact with the brain helping to improve our outlook on life. Take a moment to get back to nature and spend some time on the trails.
The Internet is a wealth of knowledge, and if you live in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll know there are a number of “hidden” and well-known swimming holes throughout Oregon and Washington. This summer, when the temperatures are high, take the time to escape to a swimming hole. There’s something special about swimming in a natural river with a cascading waterfall beside you. Be adventurous and get outside!
Carving wood can be very calming and cathartic. Wood carving is a cheap, low-energy way to pass the time. Take the time to see if you have any skills when it comes to carving — you’ll never know unless you try!
While this might require the use of a GPS, there are handheld units you put your coordinates into a head of time, eliminating the use of electronics a little bit anyway. Geocaching is extremely fun, and you can plan ahead and find a geocache in the area you’re traveling to before you even embark on your trip. Geocaching.com is the father of all geocaching websites. If you live in the Portland area set the coordinates for the first geocache ever hidden. You never know where geocaching will take you, or what surprise you’ll find hidden in the cache.
Take the plunge! Unplug your life and discover the great wide world around you. You never know, you could just find a new hobby or way of life.