I’m a big fan of turning off the outside world and retreating to a life offline every now and again. I know, it sounds drastic, right? And believe me, I don’t find it easy. But every time I spend a period of time offline I’m reminded that I’m a teensy weensy* bit addicted to the internet. And that isn’t always a good thing.
We’ve just got back from a week in the Isle of Wight. We stayed in a house with my parents. A house with no Wi-Fi or 3G signal. A house with no mobile phone signal or landline. A house completely cut-off from the outside world. It. Was. Amazing.
The pros to living with no internet were obvious ones: I switched off from work completely, walked around without my phone being permanently attached to my hand, enjoyed every moment through my own eyes and not through a screen, didn’t feel any impulse whatsoever to take a selfie and found my brain a much quieter place with no background noise or Twitter babble.
The cons were that I took hardly any photographs. Because there was no internet or phone signal I often forgot to charge my phone, which meant I regularly left it at home when we went out. I’m still so distracted by a lack of sleep that I forgot I even took my camera away with us, so some of my favourite moments of the week are in my head and not captured on a screen. But still, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.
We stayed in a village called Brading, on the eastern side of the island, just above Shanklin. It was a brilliant base to explore the rest of the Isle of Wight. Over the week we spent time in Ryde (best hot chocolate EVER is at the Chocolate Apothecary – they’ve won awards and everything, plus there’s a Liz Earle shop just round the corner. Win), Shanklin (Frog was in heaven going on the rides on the seafront), Cowes (bumped into Chris from Thinly Spread – hi Chris!) and, on our last day, Osborne.
During the week it was my dad’s birthday, and I took a photo of Frog “helping” him open his presents. We also had a visit from my sister and her boyfriend, which included a trip to a Dinosaur museum. There was lots of good food, wine and too many puddings. But I only snapped a tiny bit of it all. Bad blogger.
There was also the fact my husband dropped his phone before running over it while we were away, which meant that all of the photos I took on his phone are now defunct. Bad blogger husband.
Still, a week offline has proven to be a rather good thing. I’ve returned home with more energy, even though my baby decided to keep me awake for 95% of the week. I have ideas for blog posts I want to write and articles I want to pitch, although probably an unrealistic notion of the time I have to do all of that. But, most importantly, I had a fantastic week away with all of the people I love and no distractions. No distractions at all.
What do you reckon? Would you go in for a holiday offline?