Unpack, Unplug, Unwind
Do you remember what it was like to take a vacation without bringing technology along for the ride? With the information overload that we so often feel today, more and more travelers are making the conscious decision to embark on a “digital detox.” They’re choosing to use their vacation as an opportunity to take a break from the ties of technology – to recharge their proverbial batteries while leaving their lithium ion ones at home.
Getting off the grid and away from our device-driven culture leaves space for the things that are truly important. Figuring out what you want to fill that space with is completely up to you.
Read on to discover destinations that will encourage you to unplug, unwind, and untether yourself from technology.
For many of us, there are few things that stir a stronger feeling of nostalgia than revisiting memories of summer camp. Camp Grounded aims to bring those memories back to life. With campgrounds located among old growth redwoods in California, nestled in the valleys of the Blue Ridge Mountains, situated on the shores of sparkling Surprise Lake in New York, or popping up amid the bluebonnets in the Texas Hill Country, sessions at these camps are created for adults who are looking to embrace all of the adventure and activity that they cherish from years past. Sessions include old favorites like campfire sing-alongs, archery lessons, and color wars, while adding in activities like Thai massage and acro-yoga, which your 12-year-old self may have not have fully appreciated.
Learn more at www.CampGrounded.org.
Ventana Wilderness, California
If you prefer to fill the space left by the absence of electronics with silence and meditation, you’ll appreciate the quiet and stillness of a visit to the Tassajara monastery, located in a remote valley just inland from Big Sur. From May to September, the monastery opens its doors to guests seeking to connect with their natural rhythm and explore the meaning of Zen. Experience the ultimate in tranquility in a stunning environment where unplugging is not merely a suggestion. There is no cell service, the rooms are lit with kerosene lamps, and there is a $10/hour fee for charging your devices. If you plan your visit to coincide with a retreat session, you’ll be able to explore creative expression, the healing powers of yoga, or the wild beauty of nature.
Learn more at sfzc.org/tassajara.
Mount Snow Family Camp
West Dover, Vermont
Let’s face it, we all need to pull the cord and disconnect from technology from time to time. Some of us realize this, and some of us do not. If you want to encourage others in your family to step away from that cell phone, consider planning a multi-generational trip to the scenic Green Mountains of Vermont. Specially coordinated activities like kayaking, sand volleyball, guided nature hikes, trivia nights, and field games will keep everyone engaged, with no screens involved. As a guest at Mount Snow Family Camp, you are welcome to be as adventurous or low-key as you’d like during the day, and return to your modern accommodations every night. You won’t need to “rough it” when it comes to eating, either, as resort chefs expertly prepare every meal for you and your family.
Learn more at www.mountsnow.com/family-camp.
Colorado River Rafting
While efficiency has its place, there is something to be said for taking a step back and letting yourself experience the peace of going with the flow… literally. Let the mighty Colorado River carry you through the path it cut through limestone, schist, and granite to create one of nature’s most awe-inspiring wonders. Trips through the Grand Canyon range from 4-16 days and can be arranged privately or through a tour group; the latter will take care of everything from meal preparations to rowing the boat. No matter how you choose to ride the river, you will find yourself adjusting to a new pace of life that’s just the right speed.
Learn more at www.westernriver.com/trips/coloradoriver.
Savute Elephant Camp
Moremi Reserve, Botswana
Chances are great that you won’t miss your many screens if you’re distracted by a herd of elephants passing right outside your door. Guests of the Savute Elephant Camp, an Orient Express property, stay in luxurious thatched huts surrounded by acacia trees in a ruggedly beautiful, semi-desert environment. The best part about this property is that it’s right next to a Savute elephant watering hole, ensuring that you’ll have a daily view of these incredible animals in their natural element. Wild creatures of all kinds, large and small, are just steps away – and there’s not a cell phone tower or television in sight, so you’ll be able to focus on the only show worth watching: the one that can be seen right outside your door.
Learn more at www.belmondsafaris.com.
What do you really want to see when you look away from your screen? If you want to meet the affectionate gaze of your spouse looking back at you, take him or her to Travaasa Hana on the breathtaking island of Maui. This expansive 70-acre property offers you and your sweetheart the chance to fill your days with bonding activities like lei-making or throw net fishing. Or you may prefer to empty your days completely, lazing together in a hammock while listening to waves crash over distant lava rock.
Learn more at Travaasa.com/hana.
A wonderful place to unplug and reconnect with nature is Sunglow Ranch, where you can spend serene hours bird watching on 475 acres of traditional Southwest ranch land or horseback riding through the adjacent Coronado National Forest. Upon returning to their private casita, guests will be welcomed by the smells of hearty, home-cooked meals served in the on-site dining room. With a combination of dry desert air and zero light pollution, guests will marvel as the night sky comes to life with a veritable light show to satisfy astronomers and casual stargazers alike.
Learn more at www.sunglowranch.com.
Where do you go for a digital detox? Let us know your favorite “off the grid” destination by leaving a comment below.