When you want to get away from it all, it is so tempting to just get a cabin in the woods with no access to the outside world. No phone calls. No emails. No meetings.
It seems romantic, but when you have no access to any of the comforts of the modern world can you really enjoy yourself? Off grid travel is becoming more and more popular as people feel overwhelmed by the pace of their lives, but not many can actually handle being completely off grid.
What does off grid even mean these days? Will there be no electricity? Will there be a toilet? To really get an idea of how much you can handle actually roughing it, we are going to take a look at what off grid travel can actually mean.
Off grid doesn’t always mean no modern conveniences
Off grid can sometimes mean that the property is not hooked up to the city or county services. Luckily, there are ways to make a modern system without needing to.
If you want that place way out in the woods, but don’t want to have to live by candlelight then look for places that have electricity through solar panels. Many cabins now have a solar panel system that even includes battery packs so if there is not much sun you still have electric lights and maybe even a dishwasher.
Water can come from a well and if there is an electric pump, you can enjoy a nice hot shower thanks to the solar panels.
There are many options for those that want to get off the beaten path but still expect a level of comfort. You should definitely make sure that the place where you are staying doesn’t have any internet so that you can actually do a digital detox. You don’t need to go live in a cave to get away from your emails and social media, but if there is internet there, then you end up losing your vacation to the time spent on your devices.
Go on a guided camping trip
If you are not used to being out in the middle of nowhere and needing to pitch a tent, then you could be a perfect candidate to go on a guided camping trip. The benefits of camping are enormous when you are living a high tech life and find the pace exhausting. Getting out in nature will recharge the batteries just from the fresh air and silence alone.
But when you are on a camping trip, there are far more ways to recharge without plugging in. It is one thing to relax and listen to the sounds of nature for a change of pace. When you also add in the sense of accomplishment by staying occupied with tasks at hand. You have to do things for this trip to work and you aren’t catered to like you are in a hotel or resort.
Though you have the help of the guide and some crew, you are also expected to pull your own weight. Which means that you can feel like you actually did something on your trip. Then add in the excursions like kayaking and bird watching that will also be a lot of fun.
Go on a retreat
Another way to detox your digital addiction is to go on a retreat that offers yoga and meditation. Many of these types of retreats are sort of off grid. They have the modern conveniences as you would expect, but they tend to not offer internet and TV so you aren’t tempted to plug in at any point.
Furthering the detox mission is that you will be doing activities that are totally restorative. The point isn’t just to have a break from your fast paced and digital world, but to try to reconnect your mind to your body and bring that healing back to your old life for a while.
When you go on a yoga retreat, you are given the tools you need to disconnect from the world and go inward to heal yourself. These tools can be used at anytime and anywhere so long after the retreat is over, you can find time to incorporate the same routines into your daily life.
Do you really need a digital detox?
While a vacation to get away from your over-dependence is a great idea, it isn’t the end of the story. You will really need to rethink your relationship with technology and find a way to balance so you never need to go cold turkey again.
One thing to realize is that social media is not bad in and of itself. It can be quite useful. And email is a very important part of our professional and personal lives and can’t be given up.
What works best, is mindfulness. Being aware of when you’re overdoing things is essential to living a happy and healthy life. This is true for anything that you do in abundance. From overeating to not exercising enough, there are many aspects of our lives that need to be balanced out.
Try to set up your email account with an auto-responder so when you are not at work, you aren’t being alerted to any new emails. If it is work related, it can wait until you get back to work to respond.
And social media platforms can be muted. Turn off the notifications so you aren’t drawn to browse your accounts when you get notified that somebody posted something. And you may even want to delete some of your profiles. Stick to one or two platforms that you actually find some value in that is not simply just a time waster.
Delete all the video games from your devices and only use them for things that need to be done so you are not tempted to waste time that could be spent going for a walk or meeting a friend for dinner.