I spent the last week with family at a cabin on Loon Lake in the Adirondacks.
Our cabin had no internet access or cell service, and the shortest drive to get a bar on your cell phone was about 25 minutes away.
It was the first time (since starting my career) that I took a full week off for vacation. It was also the first time that I stayed (for an extended period of time) at a place where I wasn’t “reachable” to anyone other than my exact company.
It was amazing and made me realize how easy it is to lose sight of what is truly important in life.
We don’t need cell phones and the Internet, but they are luxuries that we have come to depend on heavily to help get us through the day. We like to think that these tools make our lives easier, and while they definitely do at times, sometimes they make it harder by adding a constant stream of noise and distraction.
Sometimes the easiest (and the best) thing to do is connect with nature.
My vacation in the Adirondacks opened my eyes to the beauty of the simple life.
Throughout the week we cooked, hiked, canoed, played cards, took long drives, talked, laughed and cried.
It was incredibly cathartic to connect with each other, and with nature, so intimately.
One thing that I noticed throughout the week was that my inability to access the internet whenever I wanted changed my internal narrative completely.
Rather than stressing over work or the dozens of other things that were waiting for me in Buffalo, like packing to move to my new apartment, I spent a good amount of time thinking about my role in this world and how I am only one small piece of the puzzle.
When you climb to the top of a mountain and look out to see trees for miles, it’s hard to not feel small – to feel like one tiny piece of this enormous and beautiful world.
The absence of cell service and Internet allowed me to be more present and live in the now.
I noticed that as I zeroed in to pay attention to only my surroundings, I was overcome with a feeling of peace and tranquility.
There was so much beauty around me that I didn’t want to miss, and that kept me living in the present.
So, the next time you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed with work, family or life in general, think about taking a trip “off the grid” to escape from it all and revel in the simple life.
You’ll be surprised to see how transformational it can be.