I recently had the pleasure of walking the Overland Track in Tasmania. If you haven’t heard of the walk, it is 70 odd kms of Tasmanian Wilderness – and more stunning than I could possibly describe.
There were many challenges that I needed to face on the walk. Initially it was just walking itself that I thought would be the challenge, I had planned to do many months of training and walks around the Blue Mountains but in the end did – well none at all really. In the end, one foot in front of another did the trick. I also had to carry a fairly heavy backpack, but this too just had to be done so carry it I did.
What really scared the crapola out of me though was the thought of not having access to technology for almost the entirety of the trip. From about 1pm on the 10th of December through to about 1pm on the 16th of December – no Internet, no phone coverage, no laptop, no iPad, no FaceBook, no Twitter, no email. None. Zip. Nada.
I also chose not to carry any solar panels or power banks so a fully charged iPod had to be carefully nursed through the trip so that music was available when I really wanted it.
Now when I thought about writing this piece before I left I anticipated a harrowing tale of loss, a weeping and gnashing of teeth scenario where I huddled by the side of the track refusing to move until someone found me a phone signal – and I am sure that would have been a fabulous read. But here is the thing.
I didn’t miss it.
Not at all really, and nowhere near as bad as many of the other people I met on the walk. They had phones on daily checking for signals, powered them up using power banks, played games on them and used apps for reading. I was sorta proud that I turned my phone off on the first day and didn’t turn it on again until the last night on the track – and that was to see how the battery was doing.
The break from all types of technology was just what I needed. It gave me an opportunity to relax, completely turn my brain off (seriously I dropped about 20 IQ points and it was awesome), and other than really wanting to Google a few things that I wanted to know on the spot, I really enjoyed and appreciated being completely disconnected.
Of course, like any good geek girl I completely binged when I was back in the range of a phone signal but my habits have changed a little. I no longer feel lost without my phone and I have been known to leave it untouched for hours on end.
So while not everyone can escape into the wilderness to escape from technology, I would suggest turning off the phone or unplugging the Internet every now and then – it can be a blissful feeling.