What did people do before the internet? Its a question i have asked my mum a few times since I unlocked my first smart phone. Her answer normally being something incoherent about going to the pub with the friends. Even for her its hard to imagine life without this invention that has been around for the past 20 years. Research from 2017 shows that the average American adult spends around 3 hours daily on their smartphone, surfing the web, facebooking friends and spending less and less time enjoying the nature surrounding them.
My happiest memories are centered around nature, as a 6 year old helping the harvest Rhubarb and potatoes from my grandmas garden or riding her horses along the forest trails. Her home, becoming a WIFI free haven, where I could stay to concentrate on my work and learn baking skills from her 150 year old cook book. Now 13 years later, I am still crave those internet free days, which are a very rare occurrence.
The internet keeps everyone connected, a fear of missing out on events and conversations keeps the router permanently plugged in, whether healthy or not. Before arriving at the Chilcotin Holidays ranch I think the most days I spent without an internet connection was two. So it was lying on a slow boat traveling along the Mekong river that I truly realized how necessary a break from technology is. We had no internet for two days and it was just the ten of us on one boat, starting debates, playing card games and admiring the beautiful views. We were in our bubble, the outside world could wait a few days, what mattered were the stories we created with each other in the present.
Living at the Chilcotin Holidays Ranch where personal WIFI is only available from 8pm – 7am, a necessary technological break is facilitated. Facebook is not important, no one cares how may likes your picture has received, what is more important is that the horses are healthy and everyone is achieving their aims for the days. At the Chilcotin Holidays Ranch I have met so many lovely people and formed genuine relationships, there is no need for social media, when you can laugh around a campfire toasting marshmallows or go out on a horse ride.
In the last month I also managed a total break from technology, on my longest outing away from Chilcotin Holidays, except for my digital camera. By going on a 3 night Bushcraft course, where I learnt many new skills such as lighting a one match fire and making a wooden bowl using hot charcoal. I could spend the days, living in nature, hiking, spotting animal tracks and waking up to deer passing our shelter. The whole time, I was not worried about my life back in England, my friends and family, will still be around after 2 months. What was more important was that I focused on the immediate knowledge I was gaining from Nick as who knew when this opportunity would be around again.
To sum it up technology such as smartphones and laptops are amazing resources but we shouldn’t base our personal lives around them. There is a whole world of amazing places waiting to be explored, its up to us to go out and see them.