Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Travels Around the World

Tune out…Switch On… by Louise George

Tune out…switch on

Do you ever just switch off?

 

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In my last blog post here I told you about the amazing trip I was taking with my husband, which took in 10 countries in 9 weeks. We had a fabulous time; we ate, drank, walked…boy, did we walk! And we switched off.

Lots of people have asked us what the highlight of the adventure was for us and I unequivocally say it was the walk. Also known as The Way or The Camino de Santiago de Compostela, it spans the top of north western Spain. We covered 220kms in 10 consecutive days. Our feet hurt and our legs ached, but we pretty much smiled all the way (although that had a lot to do with how lucky we were with the weather!)

Picture2We met some amazing people, some of whom were walking the full 800kms on their own (although you can’t possibly be alone the whole time; there are far too many people to chat to along the way). On the day we completed our 220kms we were two of about 35 people who finished the walk that day. The numbers rise steadily through the summer to somewhere in the hundreds each day.

At the beginning we decided to document our walk on Facebook so our friends/relatives etc knew we were safe/uninjured etc. and because that’s what we do, right? But as the walk progressed we became less and less inclined to spend our down time in a new village/town searching for a decent WIFI connection (in the middle of rural northern Spain, this was a challenge) and then uploading photos etc…when we could be connecting with people and places we’d never seen before. In person. For real. And so eventually we decided to switch off. Completely.

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It was so lovely to spend time together just walking, chatting and exploring, not checking Facebook, not snapping photos because we thought they’d make an impression on Instagram. Not wondering who had ‘liked’ our posts etc… It was liberating and refreshing to talk to people and look around us in our little bubble; to notice things like how the snow crunched under our feet, how the wind felt on our faces, how free we were, and very lucky, to be able to do this. And it was so good not to know what was happening on the other side of the world/all the crappy things going on. It’s amazing how social media permeates everything we do these days.

Add to this the fact that a couple of weeks later I dropped my phone down a Russian toilet and couldn’t communicate with anyone digitally at all, my tuning out was now not deliberate but forced!! Having no phone was weird, (I use it mainly to take photos anyway)…but it was genuinely interesting to sit at a café or on a train and people watch. Mainly, to see people glued to their devices!! Also, to see people trip up, fall over or bump into others because they were staring down at their screens as they walked!!!

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So now I’m home I’m trying to take weekends off social media. Switching off and breathing, chatting, exploring…is that something you do? Ever had a digital detox? What do you think?

Louisa George is an award winning author of books with humour and heart.
RITA finalist. Allergic to housework. Zumba addict. Visit her website for a complete list of her novels, which includes women’s fiction, contemporary romance and medical romances.
Her most recent medical romance is, Reunited By Their Secret Son  Mills and Boon  Amazon US Amazon UK

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11 thoughts on “Tune out…Switch On… by Louise George”

  1. We try and detox on holidays but it’s getting harder. What I have noticed is once, I used to write home once a week when I was on holidays but now my mother expects a daily text!

    1. Hey, thank you for uploading my blog when I was locked out of WordPress!! Here I am! Don’t know how I got back in!! Funny how we managed all those years ago. I have to admit I panic if I haven’t heard from my boys once a day (or at least seen they’ve been on facebook!). The digital detox was excellent; we told our family we were contactable in an emergency and we all managed just fine for a few days!

  2. Hi Louise

    Oh what fabulous photos sounds like this trip was awesome and good on you for tuning out I wish I could I can manage a few hours here and there while reading but then I need to check LOL.
    Although when we go on cruises we are not on as much as usual but we still get on it 🙂

    Have Fun

    Helen

    1. Hi Helen, I do struggle with switching off. I have just downloaded an app called Self-control onto my computer which means I can be off line for a set amount of time and the app won’t let me go on any blacklisted websites (I choose which ones are blacklisted) for the duration. It has really helped my focus and I find I don’t flit between open tabs as much. Hoping this means I get more work done or at least use my time wisely.

    1. LOL Annie! Not a natural wonder at all, but we did meet some amazing people who were, eg the 70/80 year old French couple who had walked 1000kms from their home in France to west coast Spain!!!!!!! and the Japanese woman who carried a backpack that was twice the size of her, every day, walking on her own. Very inspirational!

  3. Love, love, LOVE your message: less and less inclined to spend our down time in a new village/town searching for a decent WIFI connection (in the middle of rural northern Spain, this was a challenge) and then uploading photos etc…when we could be connecting with people and places we’d never seen before. In person. For real. And so eventually we decided to switch off. Completely.
    You are my hero, and not just for the amazingly long walk, but for helping people realize our phones can become our chains is we don’t take notice.
    Wonderful pictures, and you look great as a blonde!

  4. What an inspiring trip, and love your photos and message, Louisa! My 26 year old daughter and I were talking about this just the other day – I’m not addicted to my phone the way many are, but do I spend too much time on social media on my computer? Yes, I do, and it’s something I’m working to be aware of. Daughter makes an effort to leave her phone in another room as frequently as possible. And 19 year old son recently told me he’d downloaded (at no prompting from me) an app that shows him how much time he’s spent scrolling through stuff on his phone.
    I’ve been following Arianna Huffington and her new business called Thrive, which is all about disconnecting in a healthy way. Love that you’re ahead of the curve! xoxo

  5. What a amazing trip! All that walking! When I take my vacations I tune out. I don’t take my lap top with me. I do read on my Kindle if we are out of the country and I only allow myself to check my email in the morning only. I want to enjoy what is around me.

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