The trend of the digital detox, for Sawubona Magazine.

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The “disconnect to reconnect” travel trend clearly indicates a need to rethink our relationship with digital distractions. I spoke to Sawubona Magazine about taking a break from it all and how I now, regularly retreat to regroup and replenish.

Read the full article at Unplugged Holidays. Snippets below.

In her book, The Big Disconnect, clinical psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair examines why we find it so difficult to detach from the digital world. “Not only do chronic tech distractions have deep and lasting effects, but children desperately need parents to provide what tech cannot: close, significant interactions with the adults in their lives,” she says.

Even when we decide to get away from it all, we usually still check email and cellphones, rarely unplugging completely. But there’s a backlash against this 24/7 plugged-in lifestyle that has seen “disconnect to reconnect” becoming buzzwords in the travel industry. Promising a path to true relaxation and a deeper connection with our loved ones and nature, unplugged holidays have huge appeal to the tech-weary. Travellers are consciously seeking out trips where they get off the grid and “disconnect to reconnect”. In the USA, there’s even a day dedicated to being tech-free – the National Day of Unplugging.

Well-known blogger, writer and earth activist – The Incidental Tourist Dawn Jorgensen (that’s me) went on RETURNAfrica’s Pafuri Walking Trails a few months ago. For this digital diva the experience of being in a remote location, with no access to wifi was something of an enlightening experience.

“It’d been more than ten years since I’d stepped completely off the grid and when I’d learnt that being in the Pafuri region would mean no cellphone reception, there was mild panic. What about all the emails I’d miss and the social media updates I wanted to do along the way? What if somebody needed me? Yet, after the first day of hopeful stares at my phone, I put it away and began to relax completely into the area. It allowed me to take notice of the details, savour the moment and become wholeheartedly consumed by all that was on offer and enjoy the privilege of being in the bush. Actually, the experience became more introspective; it became mine. A gift to myself as, all of a sudden, the moments mattered – the tracks in the sand, the sounds of the night, the rustle of the wind. My senses were able to reconnect with nature, heightened and intensified by the distraction-free experience. Retrospectively, being on my phone throughout would have detracted in many ways and I’m now promising myself regular disconnects as I realise they are greatly needed”.

The “disconnect to reconnect” travel trend clearly indicates a need to rethink our relationship with digital distractions. It’s never too late to put down your devices and have a glow-free holiday. Time in the great outdoors and limited screen time makes for happy holidays.

Some pics from my Pafuri Walking Trail trip.

The Tented Accommodation at the Camp

Some of the things we saw along the way.

Read my other published work here.

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