We are all addicted to the internet, social media, and the whole notion of staying connected. For those of you living in cities, take a look around you, you will notice that everyone is using a smartphone, laptop, tablet, etc. The onset of the digital age has fundamentally hindered our ability to live in the moment. When traveling, the one thing we look for upon arrival is whether we can stay connected, and whether the airport has WIFI connection, etc. This desire to be connected seems to be an addiction. I am guilty of it myself. When I got to Myanmar, my first purchase was on a SIM card. I told myself that I needed Wifi lest I got lost, but come on, who am I kidding? I obviously wanted to get data so I could connect with my friends on whatsapp, facebook, instagram, etc.
In the last 3 months, the only times I purchased data was Myanmar and Hong Kong. Ironically, I think I enjoyed myself so much more when I was disconnected. I could take the time to think about my own life, where I am at, and soak myself in the sights.I definitely enjoyed the interactions with the locals so much more too!
When I got to Myanmar, there were many times where I had to stop myself from looking at my phone, and refocus my attention on everything that was before me. It was the interactions with the locals that got me thinking about how addicted I was to the internet. Most of the locals did not have Smartphones, and they connected with one another via interaction at the marketplace, which was a boatride away for most people. This was the point where I decided to disconnect and refocused myself on my trip. It was at that point that I began seeing so much more, and captured more precious moments on my camera.
I doubt I will be getting data for my solo travels in the future. With a more stable schedule in place now, I think I need to #disconnect to reconnect when I travel, as these travels will now be the best time for me to be introspective. Moving away from narcissism and addiction to the social media, I hope to be someone with a bigger heart, focused on reconnecting with the people, the environment, and living in the moment.