Travel can seem like the ultimate luxury, and often it is. Yet many people get caught up in snapping pictures and posting to Instagram rather than taking in the sunset or the salty scent of the ocean. This can begin to feel more like work than rest and relaxation, especially for aspiring and established travel bloggers.
When we pull our eyes away from our screens and ourselves away from charging stations, we can feel freer and more engaged in the experience. Your smartphone can take away from your ability to focus and distract you from the beautiful world around you.
So, while you may be curious about what your friends are up to, embrace your own life and enjoy your travels to the fullest.
As an avid traveler and travel enthusiast, you can gain a new and different sense of adventure while learning a lot more about your destination by unplugging and connecting to the world around you. You may even want to incorporate more phone-free time into your day-to-day life after learning about the benefits of unplugging while you immerse yourself in another place.
1. Learn More About the Local Culture
Goodbye, Google! Hello Culture! We often find ourselves asking Google more questions than asking those around us. We also struggle to resist the impulse to immediately know the answers to our questions.
When we eliminate Google from our adventures, we cultivate a more patient and curious nature. Next time you’re at a local cafe, try leaving your phone in your car or at the hotel. You will suddenly realize that even a local coffee shop is thriving with a culture you may not have known about.
Suddenly you can hear the beans being ground and the hiss of the steamed milk. You may notice the way the light cuts across the table and reflects on your spoon.
If you do this enough, you may find yourself embracing the beauty in the mundane and the excitement of the locale.
2. Pick Up the Language Easier
How often do you rely on your translating app to get your message across in a foreign country? While translation apps can be extremely helpful, you will learn another language quicker if you don’t have one to rely on.
Try studying the language months in advance of your trip and bring a paper translation dictionary. You will find yourself making longer, more sustained eye contact, and using body language to convey your message.
3. Putting Yourself Out There Can Be Fun
So, you may look a little strange if you ask for directions, but disconnecting can be a blast. Try relying on a paper map instead of your phone GPS. This will keep your eyes up and you will notice street signs, businesses, and people you would not have noticed if your eyes are glued to the screen.
Even though getting lost can feel a bit frightening at first, the adventure of finding your way on your own can help you develop a sense of self-reliance and create some great stories to share when you get home.
4. When You Disconnect, You Can Connect More with Real People
When you’re lost and wandering around, you can always stop at a bistro or a library to take a break and ask for directions. You can also take a moment just to chat with people while you’re there, which is also a great way to meet people on the road.
When you ask a local for restaurant recommendations or fun places to explore, I can guarantee that you will probably find some great spots that may not be the most obvious but might be the most authentic.
5. Your Rest Will be More Restful
Let yourself sleep in on your next trip. Turn your phone off before you lay your head down on the pillow. Blue light also has a negative effect on your ability to receive restful sleep. When you take a break from your phone, you will give your eyes and mind a rest.
Traveling can take a toll on your body and mind. When you’re ready to rest and relax, let yourself do so. This can make you more alert and aware when you’re on an adventure.
6. One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Many people talk about FOMO, while others truly have a Fear-of-Missing-the-Perfect-Photo. Well, it might be as catchy, but spending more time finding the perfect light and the right angle can make it hard to tune into your experience.
When you plan on going for your next beach trip or find an amazing waterfall, try not taking a picture. Let the image find a spot in your mind and memory. If you want to share the moment with others, you can always choose the perfect free high-quality stock photo of nature and describe the experience instead of posting a picture.
If you can’t resist capturing the moment, you can also commit to taking one photo instead of one hundred.
7. Leaving Your Laptop Behind Reduces Stress, Improves Productivity, and Brings Better Relationships
Although most people crave a chance to escape from the stresses of work and recharge their batteries, many find it difficult to disconnect from work during their vacations. A recent survey found that close to 90% of workers have felt pressure to interrupt their vacations to return to work at least once, and only 7% of workers leave their laptops at home when going on vacation.
This lack of disconnect can have negative consequences on workers. Half of all workers (50%) check their work emails or messages during their holidays, despite the fact that over 85% of employees have faced negative consequences for not being available during their time off. The benefits of unplugging are clear and include reduced stress, increased productivity, and improved relationships. Therefore, it is important that employees take the necessary steps to disconnect from work during their vacations. This includes setting boundaries with bosses and colleagues, and leaving work behind when going on holiday. By doing this, workers can ensure that they return from their holiday feeling refreshed and ready to return to work.
8. Letting Go of Your Phone Can Help You Let Loose
Let yourself have fun and be spontaneous. Jump into the ocean at midnight wearing all your clothes. When you leave your phone home, you don’t have to worry about getting it wet or losing it. Don’t be afraid to get caught in the rain or run through a fountain in the middle of town.
Be bold and brave and let go of your phone from time to time. You’ll learn a vast amount about yourself and those around you. If you’re seeking even more self-discovery, try going alone. These days there are many companies offering adventure holidays for single and solo travelers in case you are short on time or don’t particularly enjoy travel planning.
And don’t forget: If you are thinking of disconnecting, always take extra measures to stay safe. In the meantime, have fun planning your next expedition and give in to all the world has to offer.