I get time off from my job at the library and I always make sure that I use my holidays each year. While I do love my job, I also really love to get away from the screens and take part in some water recreation at least once a year, ideally twice. When vacation time beckons, I am thrilled. I get out the snorkelling gear – the mask, the fins, the wetsuit – and I am ready to go. While I love taking my gear to Hawaii, Tahiti or the Bahamas, just about any of the coral reefs closer to home are equally as exciting and relaxing. I am always keen to add to my collection of underwater photos.
Why do I enjoy water recreation so much? It’s the perfect chance for me to unwind and get in some quality “digital detox” time. For those of you who haven’t heard of this concept before, it’s a pretty simple one. Taking a digital detox is all about locking away all of the devices – laptops, tablets, cell phones and living without these items for a period of time, so that your brain has time to unwind and process things rather than being under constant stimulation.
So, how do I choose to go about my digital detox? Simple. I leave all of my technology, apart from my camera, at home and head off somewhere with a nice beach and some great snorkelling.
I don’t mind if it’s only a long weekend, but ideally it’s a week or two when I go – and then I can take all of my gear.
Rather than just relying on the snorkelling options that are closest to the beach, I have a fishing kayak that I take with me on the longer trips to get further away from the shore. Sometimes, I use it for fishing and other times it’s just a method of transport to get me to the better snorkelling locations.
Armed with my camera, I spend long days out on and in the ocean, taking in all of the beautiful scenery and snapping away both above and under the water, always chasing that perfect photo for my wallpaper on the computer back at work.
Time away from the screens during the digital detox makes you miss them a bit, but it really helps you to focus back on the present, the “here and now” as Huxley referred to it in “The Island”, and it usually comes with the added benefit of having some great mental breakthroughs with problems that might have been kicking around your mind for some time that you just haven’t been able to solve.
Long days in the sun exploring the world above and beneath the water can be tiring, but strangely I find that having a lot of time to myself to think, reflect and just be present actually allows me to recharge my energy and when I return back home and go back to work, I’m actually a lot more focussed and productive for the first period as I power through all of the new ideas that have come from my time on the ocean and fix so many of the things that I came up with ingenious solutions to while I was “in my element”, so to speak.