Friday, June 7, 2013

Intentionally Unplugged

I took my computer with me on vacation to South Carolina to visit meet my husband's family.

The house had wi-fi, and I could have opened it up at any time to write or check email or read.

But I didn't.

I spent my time in pursuits that I could not do at home. Instead of faithfully updating my blog, I took my first boat ride through a lock, to a restaurant where I had my first serving of shrimp and grits. I made my first attempt at water-skiing. And my second. And third. There may have been a few more. I caught my first fish on the first hook I baited myself, using my first fishing license. I ran along a dam, paddle-boated, wake boarded, jet skied and got my first taste of the Atlantic Ocean. (Literally, I had more than a few swallows of sea water in my mouth and up my nose.) I watched the Blackhawks take down the Kings in games 1 and 2 of the Western Conference Finals. I helped set up a sweet new computer that I wished I could smuggle home with me. I saw historic sections of Charleston, and the rural areas lurking further inland. I ate fantastic food, and some not-so-fantastic (but how much can you really expect of a Mexican place in the boonies of South Carolina?). I spent less time with my husband than I wanted to, because he caught an illness on the flight there (I caught it from him for the way home). I listened to an unreal frog chorus every night. I saw more lightning in one evening than I have seen in years living in Boise as a deluge finally spoiled the run of good weather we had been enjoying. I didn't feel dry at all in the wonderful heat and humidity. I got frozen by car air conditioners and burned by a habanero pepper (yes, I ate the whole thing; yes, it hurt; yes, I'd do it again).

It felt good to hardly touch my phone and not at all touch my computer. It showed me that I can disconnect without going into total wilderness, that I can make that choice not to bury myself in the world of electronic connections and news and web comics and the blogs I read obsessively.

It was a short trip. Now, it feels too short, and I wish I could have stayed longer. Maybe I would have gotten bored there if I stayed long enough. Maybe I would have gotten lost. I love the mountains in the west. I want to live near tall mountains that dare me to try and ascend them, jagged snow covered peaks that terrify and tease me.

But I sure had a fine time in South Carolina.

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