OR: No Apples a day kept the doctor away
Last week we went for a rare five days away together to the Lake District. Nothing particularly spectacular – people go on holiday all the time – but what made this occasion special is I turned off my smart phone and put it in the glove box of the car. I’ve had my iPhone for nine years and never turned it off. I work for myself and
in the past always felt the need to check my emails ‘just in case’.
From there it’s easy to slip into checking Facebook, Twitter, posting an Instagram image, taking an ‘urgent’ call (to them)…and before you know it, it’s just like being at work. Well this time, I thought we could both do with no distractions from anyone – work, family or the digital world. My husband turned his phone off too.
As our car roared up the M6, it felt like a weight had been lifted off me and I fell into holiday mode. The phone number of our guest house had been scribbled on a piece of paper for my daughter back at home – otherwise, no-one could contact us at all. It felt liberating.
When we stopped for a coffee at the motorway service station, we talked to each other.
At the guest house, we used maps and guide books to plan our activities for the first day. While I regularly read guide books (I’m a travel writer) it’s ages since I’d used a proper map. I rely on Google maps or similar.
We had to buy a newspaper to see what the weather was going to do and watch the television news to see what was going on in the world. An old fashioned clock by the bed told us when to get up.
Since I wasn’t planning on writing anything for my blog, researching a story, looking for good angles for a Twitter image or an Instagram shot, I actually noticed (and enjoyed) my environment much more.
I took in the dry stone walls, the moss covered fallen trees, the flurry of wild flowers in the spring meadows, the water fowl on the lakes, the birdsong, the smell of rain: in fact my senses were heightened and I was much more observant.
I watched the new lambs gamboling across the fields and in a patch of sunlight, even caught sight of a dormouse, who hurriedly rushed back to his tussock, his dark, beady eyes looking back at me.
In the pubs and cafes, poring over the Times crossword and nursing a beer, we asked locals for restaurant recommendations. Sometimes we just pot lucked it. And we hit the jackpot a couple of times.
I learned you really don’t need to research everything online to the nth degree – sometimes serendipity comes into play.
I’ve been to some amazing places over the last few years, but my simple days in the Lake District – mainly gentle walking around lakes – knocked them all out of the ring. Of course we came home to a sh*tstorm – but that’s another story…Suffice to say, we’ve booked another five days in September.
Disclosure: completely self funded.
(And apologies for photos. Not resized, photoshopped, edited or otherwise prettied up. Taken on old point and shoot.)