In a society full of #selfies, social media and mobile phones, it is hard to break away from technology. It wasn’t until my latest digital detox in Mexico, that I realised how important it is to detach from your screen every once in a while.
There are now an abundance of small group tour companies, based all around the world. I hopped on board a Mexico tour, with their concept is all about letting go of the technology, and fully immersing yourself in the experience. All tours have a professional photographer, meaning you are delivered a set of high resolution images post-trip. No camera, selfie stick or phone needed!
The feeling is hard to explain for me, letting go of the one thing I love most about venturing to new cities- taking photos. However, once you learn to just enjoy the moment, and trust your photographer, it is a whole new world. Digital detoxes don’t have to involve photography. Leaving your laptop at home, switching off Facebook or twitter for a week away or even disabling your account- all count. So why should you be taking a digital detox RIGHT NOW?
#1 You will appreciate your surroundings
Digital detoxes are supposed to help re-engage your mind, body and soul. Engross yourself in everything you see and do while travelling, without looking through a lens, and you will develop a whole new sense of travel. When you are truly seeking out the birds in each tree, subtle colours of the sunset or smell of the ocean spray, you will fall deeper into the experience.
#2 You will connect with people so much better
Something I learned in Mexico, was how much more I learnt from my guides Bernie and Sam when I was listening 100% (and not thinking about which photo to take next). I couldn’t believe how much culture and history was around every corner. This was something I would have missed if I wasn’t listening properly, but I also got to chat so much more than usual. The conversations with people, in unforgettable places, are irreplaceable.
#3 You will gain memories over material things
I am big on collecting memories over material things. A digi-tox also means you will have to bank on your memory to fuel your stories- something which is becoming a lost art. This (for me) was scary, as I have the worst memory on Earth, so having a photographer in tow that was capturing the fleeting moments was so special. You can also collect tokens to spur your memory, such as a shell from a gorgeous beach, just make sure you are allowed to be taking them! 🙂
#4 You will give your brain a break
The strain, mentally and physically from looking at high-contrast and bright screens can be incredibly damaging. Research from Psychology Today shows that the main consequences from overloading on screen time is in the structure of your brain. The brains grey matter, the big squishy stuff, along with the white matter which transmits messages between neurons can see shrinkage, resulting in problems with ability to communicate, cravings, and poorer cognitive performance. Not good folks!
#5 You will drop your daily digital dependence
Think about it… our parents, and their parents, lived for years without WiFi, WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. You can too. Once you release, and live tech-free for just a week, you will know that you too can be digitally independent. It is a great feeling.