Mobile phones are a recent invention we already can’t live without. We use them so much that the thought of living without them seems incomprehensible to most of us, especially during a big trip. Roaming charges aside, there are several reasons why leaving your phone at home will make your next holiday your most amazing yet.
Photograph less – Enjoy more
Thanks to smart phones we all take a lot of photos and holidays are one of the busiest times for our camera phones. The convenience of slipping out our phone to capture the moment isn’t necessarily a positive thing. Sometimes we’re so preoccupied with capturing the moment that we see it through the screen and miss it happen in front of us.
No phone means you’ll spend longer viewing the awe inspiring sights of your trip. If it’s so amazing you must record it, write about it or draw a picture, it’s amazing how much more you seen when you don’t let your phone do the viewing.
We know that travelling without a phone can be done because 15 years ago (not even) that was the standard. Take a second to consider how the travellers of the past communicated with their friends and family; they wrote. Postcards and letters have become a novelty, but with phoneless travel they become a necessity.
Spend the time you would on your phone writing letters or postcards to people back home. A postcard in the mail is always going to be more fun than any text message and it shows the recipient that you are really thinking about them. Internet cafes can be used for emailing and if you’re truly desperate to make a call you could even use… a payphone!
Get lost instead of #lost
While travelling the thing that will keep your head at home the most is likely to be social media. Logging on will allow you to see the event invites and baby photos you would normally not miss (yay). If the point of your trip is to reset and forget, cutting social media from your trip will sever your last connection to home life.
With no phone in your pocket, there will be less chances for you to check Facebook, upload pics to Instagram or Tweet and be reminded of the world you are taking a break from. Instead you will focus on the people and sights around you, unaware of what is happening back home. Worth noting to is that constant holiday updates and uploads are a great way to make your friends hate you.
Learn the language
Google translate is an extremely handy tool for foreign travellers everywhere. It allows people to visit foreign countries without more than a basic understanding of the local language. Whole conversations can be conducted between two people who don’t understand each other. This amazing cross-culture convenience is another reason why you should leave your phone at home.
By not relying on Google translate or other translating apps you force yourself to learn the local language making it easier to make friends and get by. Learning a new language is an amazing skill that gives you incredible insight into a culture different from your own more than any app can.
You’ll do what you came to do
All of us travel for different reasons but in a lot of situations it has to do with completely removing ourselves from our day to day lives. Our phone is our anchor to back home and can limit our travelling experience. Traveling always seems to go quick and there is time that can be better spent than scrolling Facebook or email threads.
When you’re traveling phone free you won’t be tempted to stay in your hostel on YouTube or Buzzfeed, you’ll have to get outdoors or get creative, both of which are great options. Instead of Googling good places to visit or eat you’ll have to explore your destination or ask people for recommendations. Without your digital companion you will have to explore and fend for yourself which after all, is what travel is all about.
If the idea of travelling the world without your phone frightens you, that’s not a bad thing. It should. Travel helps us learn about ourselves and we do most of our learning outside our comfort zones. Record a new voicemail message, set an email automatic reply and leave the phone at home. Even if it’s just for a weekend away, you’ll be amazed how much richer your next trip will be.