Technology is more accessible than ever. It’s in our pockets. On our screens. In the daily news. But it can get downright exhausting being bombarded with information all the time, even information we’re interested in or need to know about.
Many RVs, especially large travel trailers and motorhomes, come equipped with televisions, Wi-Fi, and radios. However, the RV lifestyle, of wandering, being outdoors, and exploring new places, puts technology in its place. Going camping in an RV can better allow you to unplug from the bustle of life and enable you to take a break from technology.
But that’s the key: Being mindful and intentionally taking a break. Here are some ideas of how you and your spouse or family members can unplug….
Start the day by not looking at your phone. Start the day instead by taking in the sights and sounds of the morning, making coffee or breakfast, and spending time with others. Read a chapter of a book, even if it is a Kindle. The same rule applies for nighttime. Don’t let your phone be the last thing you see or touch before you go to sleep. Check the weather for the next day and catch up on emails if you have to, but do that well before you turn in. Phones are tools, not masters.
Designate technology time. This is especially useful for kids and teens, but it has merit for adults as well because we’re looking at our phones for everything, including to kill time. Everyone in the RV should abide by the same rules. Phones are mainly for emergencies. There are designated times when phones, tablets, computers, etc., can be used for entertainment or to catch up on business or current events.
Bring out the board games. Card games, too. These activities naturally slow everything down and draw you away from screens. They get everyone in the competitive spirit, which can be downright fun and entertaining. Spend the evening laughing and trying to outdo one another instead of in front of a television screen.
Go out for walks and bike rides. You’re probably already doing this if you’re out camping, but again, don’t bring your phone if you can help it. We feel like we need to have our gadgets with us all the time, but we’re humans, not robots.
Read a book. Kindles and tablet readers make it easy to bring lots of titles along without the heavy load or taking up a lot of space. You can read from it comfortably at night or outside as well. You can also read books to others. Reading stories aloud used to be a common pastime and is a way to slow things down in today’s world – plus, it gets your imagination rolling. You can read stories that specifically cater to younger audiences; however, you can introduce classics such as Beowulf, The Deer Slayer, or the Chronicles of Narnia to children, too. They will not only love hearing the story, they will love the time cuddled next to you, listening to your voice.
Knock things off the bucket list. Your Amazon shopping cart doesn’t matter. The experiences of life are what matter! Don’t waste any more time – make a plan, even a tentative one, and get on the road to see those places on your bucket list. So much of our lives is “typical,” “predictable,” and “passive.” Be proactive and intentional about living!
Go on a drive. Don’t turn on the GPS in the vehicle or on your phone. Challenge yourself to use an old-fashioned map, or pick a road and just drive. The campground manager may have suggestions as to where to go. Drive simply to observe and take in the scenery along the way. Don’t necessarily be deliberate about where you’re going. Stop anywhere that looks interesting. Have no agenda. Just drive.
Plan a trip. Even if you’re already on one. Research has shown that planning for a trip is good for our mental and physical health, even more than being on the trip itself! There’s something about the anticipation. This isn’t necessary “unplugging” as you need to utilize the internet to make your plans, but it’s a fun activity that gives you something to look forward to and works as a distraction from the events of the world (which we all need a break from, from time to time).
Sit on a beach. And don’t bring a watch. When it the last time you hung out at a beach all day? With thousands of miles of Great Lakes shoreline as well as plenty of inland lakes to choose from, you’ll easily find a beach at which to enjoy the day. An umbrella, a cooler, a book, and a towel – and you’re all set to relax and unwind.