Frankly, I didn't think it was possible. But I made it.
Yes, dear reader, somehow I managed to be totally offline (no cell phone, no computer, Internet access, or email) for A WEEK. Not like I really had much of a choice, unless I wanted to schlep up and down a hill lugging a computer or drive to an Internet cafe, either way paying a small fortune for the privilege of entering cyberspace.
I admit, there were some unpleasant withdrawal symptoms... at first. Twitchy fingers... staring into space... the occasional fleck of drool. But I gained (or regained) my equilibrium pretty quickly. And the amazing thing? I didn't miss cyberspace one little bit. In fact, I felt a bit of... remorse? when I went to turn on my cell phone upon landing at JFK Sunday night.
Being away for week (on St. Maarten/St. Martin, which is by no means a third-world country, not with a fleet of cruise ships docking practically every day and disgorging hundreds of eager consumers looking to get $500 or more off a Cartier or Baume & Mercier watch and other high-end baubles), without Internet access or cell phone coverage, allowed me to focus on and enjoy what was right there in front of me, which was pretty spectacular. (OK, not all the commercial development, or the throngs of tourists, or the lubricated beach goers, some of whom could have used waaaay more fabric, if you know what I mean -- and I think you do.)
Yes dear friends, hard as it is for those of you who know me to believe this, I felt... relaxed. Really. Even though the room we were given (which was not the one we reserved and confirmed) was marked for demolition. (There was a thriving rust and mildew colony in the bathrooms; the furniture and major appliances were probably 30 years old; the blankets and some of the towels threadbare; and much of the resort staff unhelpful.) Even though each day a new tour group, fresh off a cruise ship, descended upon the beach, leaving beer tops and cigarette butts in the sand, shepherded by someone with a bullhorn. Even though every time you turned around someone was hawking a time share. Even though dining out on the French side, where everything is in Euros, meant a small pizza cost at least $15.
Yes, dear readers, despite all of that, I HAD FUN AND RELAXED -- without the aid of drugs or alcohol (well, except for the free rum punches, a couple of guavaberry coladas, and the occasional beer or glass of red wine).
It is amazing how easy it is to get attached -- and stay attached -- to our cell phones, BlackBerrys, mobile devices, Internet access, and email. And how liberating it is to discover we can actually live (at least for a week) without them. In fact, next year, I'm going to look for another place with limited connectivity, so I can focus on my tan, snorkeling, and savoring a glass of wine as the sun sets over the ocean.
NHL Open Thread
10 minutes ago