This year marks my 32nd year on this earth. If you’re anywhere near my age or older, you’ll remember a time before smart phones & hand held computers. I can remember a time before desktop computers, before satellite dishes in every lawn, before DVD players, & before digital television.
A time when family vacationing is revisited via human memory, photographs, and if you were lucky, through giant camcorder recordings.
We’ve still got a handful of VHS tapes chocked full of Disney world, Dollywood, myrtle beach, and whichever random campground we happened to be stopping at for the night.
We didn’t document every step we took or every meal we ate, just enough to look back on and say, yeah that was a real blast!
Family vacationing is in my mind one of the most important things you can do for your children. Not because your kids get to run amok at whichever wonderland you chose to visit, but because it’s uninhibited relationship building bonding time!
With the plethora of social media outlets to get sucked into on a daily basis, it’s easy to stay connected while you’re on Vacation.
If you’re abroad there are tons of free wifi and travel data plans to take advantage of out there, but one must be careful!
Sure, having a phone & data to use now a days is a HUGE a convenience, but it’s definitely not crucial to the success of your vacation.
We were riding on a bus with a small tour group through the Scottish Highlands, on our way back from a visit to the Isle of Skye.
The bus was mostly silent as everybody was drowning in the beauty of the Scottish wilderness, except for the drone of the bus motor and the occasional commentary from the bus driver about a certain house on the journey or a Locke we may have been passing.
up on a ridge above us as we were passing was a group of deer grazing.
After passing them by, when the whole group was finished ooh-ing and ahh-ing our driver told us a story about another group that he’d just taken out a short time before.
This bus was a full one, every seat was full, including the front “co-pilot” seat which was occupied by a young 20something completely immersed in what was going on in his phone.
Every stop the whole group piled off the bus, the boy following in step would snap a few pictures & then go back to Facebook or whatever he had been doing.
This carried on throughout the whole trip.
As they were heading back to the city, coming through a particularly wild part of the journey the bus driver slowed the buss to a crawl, there were some birds in the road.
The driver was explaining to the group about these birds and what they were doing when out of nowhere a Golden eagle dropped out of nowhere and grabbed one flew up to a fence post and began having lunch.
The driver exclaimed to the bus about how he’d never in his years seen anything like that, the group was so blessed to see something like that, and how it’s just all part of the charm of the Scottish highlands.
The boy sitting up front with his face buried in his phone missed the whole thing.
He was too busy reading pointless status updates, no doubt pictures of food or the latest funny cat videos, that he missed a once In a lifetime experience.
Sure, it’s a lot of fun to share your experiences with your social media followers or your friends and family via texting and the like, however one must learn to disconnect. How much do we really miss while gazing mindlessly at our phones. ( generally out of habit rather than desire for information)
Turn off, tune out, disconnect!