We’re going off the grid, baby!
My wife and I met, while she was living in an Italian mediaeval village, and she assured me it wasn’t the glamorous chic Italy I knew from Venice or Florence.
Liguria along the coast is actually quite sophisticated. You’ve got San Remo and Genoa nearby, with Cinque Terre even further down the coast. It’s not the Côte d’Azur like across the border in France, but it’s somehow equally beautiful without the snobbery.
Which is to say, we were in a beautiful place, but nearly an hour up in the hills and unlike those coastal elites (heh heh), up in our village, it was rustic and wild…not what you see on postcards from people’s Italian holidays.
Somehow, it was the perfect way to fall in love, though. Without Wi-Fi or even decent heating, we kept each other warm. Miriam sang along to songs I was working on for a show that was coming up, and we watched episodes of Faulty Towers and Moonstruck…and other movies, some well-known and some obscure, that she’d previously downloaded onto her laptop.
And even though we barely knew each other, we knew we weren’t the youngest people to make babies, so we got to work making at least one. The result of our endeavours? It’s who I refer to as the progeny here and online – our daughter who we were lucky enough to conceive that first trip to Liguria when we were still newly together.
We can’t make it ‘back home‘ this summer, though, for a myriad of reasons. Instead, we’re headed to a little Hütte (cabin) in the Austrian Alps, and I couldn’t be more excited. Not only is there no online connectivity, but this place has neither electricity nor hot water…and I couldn’t be more excited.
Time with the people I love most, mental space to read and write with no need to ‘share it with all my friends and “followers“‘, and maybe I’ll even get round to working on that book my friend Nick and I have been writing for ages.
Nowadays, people call it a digital detox. I’ve heard of executives back in the US who pay a pretty penny to go to the woods, or some desert, and have their mobile phone taken away, where they can reconnect with nature and themselves.
However, we’re doing it old school. Putting our devices away on our own accord and see what happens. Perhaps going back to civilisation when it’s too much, but even the thought of needing to do such a thing disappoints me.
Here’s what I’m hoping:
We don’t miss it. None of it. The noise, the distractions, the Sturm und Drang of modern life. What if it’s not so bad to just be human, without all the pressure to share our thoughts and whatnot, for a little while?
It might feel weird for a few hours or even half a day, but I’m confident we’ll be more present for each other and the progeny. I’m even rather optimistic the dog will be happier.
No need to share our every thought…or argue with strangers online? Yes, please.