Move LifeStyle

Move LifeStyle

A Week Unplugged

I recently returned from a week of ‘unplugging.’ I ventured to Mexico for my cousin’s wedding and decided not to bring my laptop or use my phone, taking the opportunity to turn it into a quasi-personal retreat. The choice to unplug was mostly inspired by a desire to really disconnect myself, fully enjoy the people I was with, what I was doing, the environment, and sometimes, pure stillness.

Before I left I read The Joy of Quiet by Pico Iyer in The New York Times. The article became the great inspiration for my week unplugged in Mexico. Some notable words of wisdom that were especially motivational:

  • “The more attention we pay to the moment, the less time and energy we have to place it in some larger context.”
  • “’Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries.’”
  • “’The man whose horse trots a mile in a minute does not carry the most important messages.’”
  • “’When things come at you very fast, naturally you lose touch with yourself.’”
  • “The more that floods in on us, the less of ourselves we have to give to every snippet.”
  • “We have more and more ways to communicate, but less and less to say.”
  • “We’re rushing to meet so many deadlines that we hardly register that what we need most are lifelines.”
  • Iyer also refers to an “Internet Sabbath” as “turning off online connections.”


For me, unplugged meant I didn’t bring my computer, and my phone was on airplane mode the entire time, so I could still use it for pictures. I spent every morning walking or running on the beach, and throughout the day would lie on the beach or hammock, writing in my journal. Some of the day was

A personal retreat is typically defined as being personal—as in, only you and no one else around.

spent with family, some of whom I haven’t seen in over a decade, as well as some of my family’s friends and members of the bridal party.

A personal retreat is typically defined as being personal—as in only you and no one else around. I’m very glad that I got to spend this time with my family and new friends. I enjoyed it more without technology and learned more because of my time with them. I learned about them and I learned about myself, and I got to witness and celebrate the fabulous wedding with my cousin and her new husband.


As I think back, this was the first time I had been completely unplugged for that duration of time in over two years. The last time I remember I was internet- and phone-less was in Patagonia, a region of Argentina and Chile.

Not surprisingly, I love warm weather. The sun and warm weather makes me all happy inside!

Sometimes it’s nice to have no plans, and just do whatever feels right at the time. Live spontaneously. Improvise.

Somewhat surprisingly, I didn’t miss my computer or checking my email. Of course, when substituted with great time with family, making new friends, beautiful weather, and fun outdoor activities, I can see why. Technology isn’t a substitute for great people and great experiences. This time reminded me of the value of being in the present and enjoying any situation you’re in, while you’re in it. Otherwise, you miss out on what’s happening—what’s special about that very moment.

Sometimes it’s nice to have no plans, and just do whatever feels right at the time. Live spontaneously. Improvise.

  • Life is an art. There are no right combinations. There are bright spots, but sometimes it’s dark. Sometimes you jump in before the painting is dry. Sometimes the finished product looks better when you don’t put it together alone. Ultimately, it’s all in how you look at it.
  • Unplugging is valuable for clearing my head and examining my life at a high level. It may seem hard to imagine a world without online connections, but it’s possible and beautiful. Here is a brief list of non-connected ideas I created for myself, and possible inspiration to others who are seeking a break:

»Read »Reflect »Walk, run, or ride a bike »Cook an amazing meal »Write a letter to an old friend »Write »Practice yoga »Practice another language (for me, Spanish or Italian) or learn a new one »Clean and get rid of things I don’t need anymore »Draw »Horseback ride »Rock climb »Take a bath »Brainstorm »Be creative »Call someone »Play guitar

Or, sit and do absolutely nothing! (Sounds lazy, but it’s re-energizing!)

There are so many things I can do to occupy my time that don’t involve the internet. It just takes discipline to avoid the online world when it’s so pervasive in my life and such a daily habit. Taking time away from the net also helps me focus on some of my other goals, which typically get neglected. Most importantly, the quiet reflection time to myself is really valuable. It’s good to sit and look at my life from a high level. I think it’s also crucial in transforming intelligence to wisdom.

This will not be my last extended unplugged venture, that’s for sure.

Have you ever “unplugged?” What did you learn? Share in the comments!

Photography by: notsogoodphotography flickr


As summer begins, we’re sharing adventures near and far. We invite you to experience the transformative power of travel with us.

Author Description

Levo League

Levo League is the first online destination designed to provide Gen Y women with advice, mentorship and career opportunities. Follow us on Twitter at @levoleague

  • Rebecca Kelsey
    I unplug for a small amount everyday… Except I still watch TV. I guess that isn’t exactly unplugging? Anyway, I have an internet and smart phone curfew of 10 PM. As soon as it hits 10 I turn off my computer and put my phone in a corner until I fall asleep (usually 12). It has really helped me relax and I take that time to work on some crafts. Occasionally I catch up on TV so it isn’t a full departure but I really enjoy it. I’m glad you got to spend a week away. That must have been very peaceful! Can you share some of your pictures? Kindness is the best accessory,

Move LifeStyle is an e-zine for the modern working woman created by Autumn Reeser, Jenn Wong and Ashley Fauset.

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