What I Learned From Disconnecting for Two Weeks
Updated: Jul 2, 2019
In May, my husband and I were able to take advantage of the rare opportunity to go off the grid for 14 dreamy days. While the time away together was everything I hoped for, part of my personal experience wasn't what I expected.
We began talking about our honeymoon well before we were even engaged, so to say that we were looking forward to it would be an understatement. We knew where we wanted to go and what we wanted to make it - an extraordinary, extended, trip that would allow us to disconnect from the everyday stress of work and life altogether. We wanted a perfect mix of relaxation and adventure to help us unwind and connect while seeing the world together.
The timing wasn't right for a lengthier vacay right after our wedding, and we jumped back into work and life right away. Nine months later, when it was finally time to honeymoon, we were insanely excited to jet off to Bali.
We were intentional about creating plenty of gaps in our itinerary for pure downtime, and we spent it walking the expansive beaches, and swimming and paddle boarding in the blue-green waters of the Indian ocean. We also opted for quite a bit of time by the pool, stretched out on luscious king-sized cabana beds, surrounded by stunning views. We were always together, enjoying each other's company, but also appreciating the comfortable silence that comes with being in a relationship for almost eight years. This approach created space for me to connect with nature and soak in all of the healing energy that Bali had to offer.
While I had planned for presence, rest, and relaxation, I didn't quite anticipate the personal growth they inspired.
Here's what I learned from my experience disconnecting:
1. Disconnection requires intention and effort. Traveling across the world and vowing to not look at social media or email was just the start of unplugging. Part of me thought that transplanting myself from city life to the Indonesian jungle would magically allow my mind to relax, but that was not the case! When we first arrived, my thoughts were on overdrive, which required patience and self-compassion to manage.
2. Tough stuff came up, but it was easier to work through than usual. I'm always gradually working away on my personal development with an awareness of how I'm thinking, what I'm feeling and how both are impacting the energy I'm putting out into the world. As such, I'm no stranger to facing things that are not-so-fun to work through, head-on. When I envisioned the bliss of disconnection, I wasn't expecting it to include the tough stuff - but it did! Pesky, unhelpful thoughts and feelings popped up, but the difference was that without distractions, I was able to address them right away. There were a few moments of discomfort, but in the end, I'm grateful for them because of learning #3.
3. It was a great time to let go. I will say that the trip came at the end of a pretty intense year of personal and professional development, which was a factor related to how ready I was to let go of some things. Even still, I attribute this to the fact that I was out of my usual environment and 100% present. I put myself in a position to just be, especially in the moments in between the fun and adventure. I focused on feeling through things and releasing what wasn't serving me, which seemed to happen more quickly and easily than usual.
It's worth noting that in just being, I spent plenty of time not thinking too, which felt restful and rejuvenating. I made it through a few true crime podcasts and an excellent thriller audiobook, as well as too many Game of Thrones episodes to count on the long flights ;)
I don't know if I'll ever be able to check out like that again and if so, it probably won't be any time soon! Regardless, I'm happy to get back to real life, enjoying a fresh perspective. I also plan to take more regular smaller-scale breaks, to help cultivate the type of presence I found so incredibly beneficial.
PS - Check out my Instagram feed and highlights for photos from our adventure!