I have a confession.
I have never been camping.
Well, this was true until last week.
My biggest concern about camping centers around one little word.
The idea of sleeping on the ground sends shivers down my spine.
Sleep on the same ground as bugs? Creepy, crawly, who knows what may scurry up my leg or face kind of bugs?
I don’t think so.
Suck it up Princess
I know what you’re thinking. Suck it up Princess. But, I will not.
Tents are out.
However, when my lovely husband suggested renting a trailer for a few days, I soon realized I could easily get on board with this type of camping. Some may even say it could be considered ‘glamping.’
Now this. This is a term I like.
And, no tents involved.
I was sold.
Little did I know upon embarking on our wilderness adventure (okay that’s a bit of a stretch, but you get my drift) I would come face-to-face with another fear. A fear I wasn’t even aware of having.
When we arrived at our destination, we entered an unknown zone.
I’m not even talking about camping.
I’m talking about something we rarely experience.
The “No Service” Zone
We had entered a “No Service” zone.
No Internet. No Email. No Facebook. No Twitter. No outside connection.
At first, I was unsure how to feel about this predicament.
How would I stay in contact with the outside world?
How would I know what was going on?
Would I miss something crucial while completely disconnected?
It was in this moment, asking myself these questions, I realized I depend on my device much more than I thought I did.
And this, I didn’t like.
Was I becoming someone who couldn’t survive a few days without a device attached to my hand?
I needed to prove to myself this was not the case.
I needed to prove to myself I was not that person.
Disconnecting while Reconnecting
In doing so, I learned some valuable lessons about the importance of disconnecting in order to reconnect.
- I was free. I was in the middle of nature, with my beautiful family and I literally had no other obligations. Disconnecting from my device brought me back to the days of my own childhood. The days where parents and children were not inundated with technology at all times of the day. It felt wonderful.
- I was focused. When we have our devices near, it is easy to become distracted from what is happening right in front of us. Being disconnected gave me no choice. My family was my one and only focus and vice versa. There was absolutely nothing else to interfere with our time as a family. It was refreshing.
- I didn’t care about time. It was irrelevant. I LOVED this. We spent three days not checking the time on our phones, we didn’t ask what time it was, and we were in absolutely no hurry. It didn’t matter if it was 9am or 4pm. We had nowhere else to be. It was invigorating.
- I was connected. Our days were uninterrupted. We talked, we laughed, we hiked, we beached, we swam, we played, we built sand castles, and we truly soaked up the quality time we were spending together. We spent our time and energy connecting with one another. It was lovely.
I can live without a device. While I know it is unrealistic to disconnect from the world all of the time, periodically doing so does wonders for the soul. I will make a conscious effort to put my device away. I will focus on connecting with the real world, living and loving; and less time behind a screen, swiping and clicking.
Who knew my first camping trip would lead to such revelations.
I am beyond grateful for the time spent with my family.
We embarked on a new adventure together. We found a little paradise close to home. We made memories to last a lifetime.
I learned something about myself that I would never have discovered without entering the “No Service” zone.
I learned that I really do love camping.
I will most definitely enter a “No Service” zone, disconnect, and camp again.
As long as I don’t have to sleep in a tent.
This post originally appeared on One Word at a Time. Reprinted with permission.
Alyce Kominetsky is a full-time Communications student, and full-time Wife and Mama. When she isn’t chasing after her five-year-old; she enjoys reading, writing, and dabbling in photography. She proudly admits her obsession with reality television. She has been published by Club Mid at Scary Mommy, Yummy Mummy Club, Mamalode, and Babble. Read more on her blog One Word at a Time, and connect on Facebook.