Unplugging from the internet and cell phone for a week seemed unimaginable when I set off for a 7-day Caribbean cruise with my mom.
During previous cruises I would use my phone to check email and text and we always purchased the ship’s cheapest internet package to stay connected.
After learning the cost for checking email on my cell this year, I decided on a 50-minute internet package to stay in touch with my hubby and respond to work-related emails. Due to a snafu, I ended up using all my minutes sending articles to an editor on the first day!
That left me with the option of purchasing another email package or paying 75 cents a minute for internet. I declined, opting instead to hope for the best that no one needed to reach me with earth-shattering news.
Instead, I focused on the magical moments unfolding at any given time: the swoosh and roar of the immense sea from our stateroom balcony or one of the lovely decks of our mammoth ship; the sounds of a “dragon breathing” emitted from the spectacular rocks edging the beachfront of Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s postcard pretty port in Haiti; and, my mom’s eyes filled with glee as she watched a broadway-caliber production dazzle us all. We also enjoyed a memorable Mother’s Day.
For someone constantly plugged in, internet withdrawal lasted less than three days. A few panicky times I wondered if anyone needed to reach me, if something bad had happened to a loved one. At those times I was tempted to pay the 75 cents per-minute fee to check email. In retrospect, I am glad I did not check out from my vacation to check in. A week of not monitoring three different emails, my website, Facebook and LinkedIn, among several other daily sites, was downright refreshing and mentally liberating. When we returned to Florida Saturday, I learned no one needed me immediately.
The lesson learned was to check in a lot less and not wait until vacation to do so!