Derrick Jackson, an astute Boston Globe columnist, just wrote a piece bemoaning the inability of vacationing Americans to actually vacation, that is to take a holiday “unplugged”, “off the grid,” “digitally detoxed,” and smell the flowers. Or listen to the brook.
Or better still, actually have a conversation with your family .
It’s a real problem, with some studies showing 83% of us check in at least twice a day when we’re on vacation, never letting email or an application come between us and our time off.
While neuroscientists wonder if our constantly wired state is “ruining our brains for reading and reflection,” and government is getting involved by restricting texting and cell phone use, Forbes Traveler has gone a step further.
It’s created a fun list of “10 Unplugged Vacations” which include some creative ways to get us to detox digitally, and enjoy a holiday unattached to computers, smart phones, iPads or whatever digital umbilical cord we cling to
How about the Arawak Beach Inn in Anguilla? This collection of lovely pastel beach houses offers a cheap seven-night getaway package… for those willing to relinquish their Blackberries and laptops.
They’re placed under lock and key upon arrival. The newly liberated guests then get a a car for three days to explore Anguilla, are booked on a private day-trip to an uninhabited island complete with a gourmet picnic lunch. And no Wi Fi. Or anything for that matter. Just themselves.
At Petit St. Vincent in the Grenadines, one of the world’s best hideaways, the only way to communicate with the staff is to hoist a flag: Yellow for service; Red for “Do Not Disturb.” But only the digitally addicted would want to be disturbed on the island’s eye-poppingly beautiful beaches.
Then there’s Fairmont Kenauk at Le Château Montebello, in Montebello, Canada. They mean it when they say, “the only blackberries you see here grow on bushes.”
The accommodations are rustic, but first-class, and powered by propane, wood and solar systems.
Bill Nowell, the recreation manager, says that guests actually like being completely out of touch. He also says families enjoy not having electricity and television.
So what does the unplugged vacationer do?
Jackson says you get to talk to your kids. Bill Nowell says you get to play games and talk to your family.