No television, no cell service, no wifi, no digital tech to interfere with three day relaxation stay at Billabong Retreat.
My digital detox was unintentional. In-fact, I had no real plans to stay of technology when the bestie and I checked ourselves into the retreat. Sure, we would not be stuck on the mobile phones the who time, but I was planning on posting the occasional photo or insta story. And I even packed the laptop in the event I felt inspired by the surrounding nature to write.
But, in the end, I opted to switch off most of my digital devices and take a break from it all. Of course, having no cellular service for most of the stay certainly helped in making that choice to switch off from the world for three days.
Though there were small areas of the retreat where you would have a bar or two of service which meant notifications might come in, or you could text your loved ones. There really was no service at all to access any social media platforms. And that actually felt better than I first thought. Though challenging at first.
Being a freelance content creator, I do have obligations with clients to manage their social accounts. However, before I left for the retreat, knowing that I wouldn’t have the best service (because it’s on the website for Billabong Retreat), I emailed all my clients and told them I would be off the grid for a few days, but back to managing their accounts when I returned.
My clients are wonderful and were super supportive of my break, not feeling stressed at all about their social accounts, which was great to know. Giving me a little piece of mind when I left for the retreat, knowing I didn’t need to worry to stress about posting anything. Even on my own accounts too.
But, I was still planning on posting on insta story, mostly just to share the amazing experience I knew I was going to have at Billabong Retreat. And you know what, I didn’t even do that.
Like I said, there was a small amount of cell service in some locations of the retreat. And I probably could have posted on social media. But opted not to and it felt amazing to have the break from worrying about content for three days.
And as for the laptop. Well that didn’t even come out of my suitcase. Though I had a few moments where I felt inspired to write, I actually locked those inspirations into a secret part of my mind, and decided that I would focus on that when I returned home.
I made this choice, as I would rather enjoy the natural sounds of nature around me, without the background noise of tapping on the keyboard included into that scenario. It was just simply nice and wonderful to not listen to anything digital for three days.
Yes, that includes the television. Though I don’t watch a lot of television. But do record a lot of documentaries which I love watching on a weekend in my downtime. I do share a house with my partners family. Which means, they have the television on a lot. So, it was really nice to not hear a television for three whole days.
There was even a night where the retreat had a movie night, where everyone would set themselves up in the yoga room to kick back and watch the movie. But we decided we would much rather just sit back on the balcony of main lounge area of the retreat. Watching the twinkling of the lights scattered throughout the paths of the retreat. Nothing but darkness, nature and the calls of the frogs and night birds at the Billabong down below.
Opting to ditch anything digital for the three days, meant no television either. So watching a movie just wasn’t on the cards. And it was the best decision. We both had books and magazines, and we we just chilled, enjoyed each other’s company and read.
I also learned a lot from not having my head filled with digital noises from phones, televisions and laptops. I had time to really think about life and where I’m heading. What avenues I wish to go down for my freelance gig and where that can be applied with my blog, and may own social space, including the clients I do work for.
Sometimes to find yourself and ensure you’re on the right path, you need to switch off from all the noise. Take a moment to reflect on where you’re at, what you’re doing and what might be next for you. And I certainly gained that perspective whilst at the retreat. In-fact I often gained that enlightened insight (as I like to call it) whenever I visit a retreat. The last one being The Golden Door back in 2018.
Of course I respect that not everyone has the opportunity to gain the same insightful awareness when you may be busy at home with a full time job, or have a full family of kids, pets and then some. However, I do still think switching off from media is achievable no matter your living circumstances. All it takes is a simple switch off of the televisions, the iPads, the phones and anything else which may be causing too much noise in your personal space.
Grab a book and read it to the kids. Or if you’re alone, read it to yourself. If you don’t like reading, try painting, or something else which is artsy or crafty. Try something new and learn something new about yourself. Switching off and giving yourself a digital detox is not that hard to achieve, no matter what your daily routine is.
We have become so dependant on the media around us, we have literally forgotten how to have fun without it. But you know what, as humans we were living life happy and free, long before the age of the digital world. So it can be done again.
I find puzzles and board games are a good distraction for families with kids. The digital break may not last the whole day or night, but at least you’ll all get at least a few hours break from the noise of digital technology.
Go to the beach, have some fun. Remember what life was like before the age of technology. There is so much to appreciate, love and enjoy. So go out and do it. I have definitely come back with a new fresh out take on life and how I have been living it.
Every New Year I always set myself goals and restrictions with digital technologies. Don’t work too late on the computer, make sure to take healthy breaks throughout the day. Reduce the time on the mobile. All very challenging when you are freelance, but still very achievable. Though I do manage to stick to the goals throughout the year, I know there is definitely room for improvement on ensuring that I create more space for myself away from the digital world. Whilst still doing the work I need to have an income.
So what did I ultimately learn from my three day digital detox?
It’s okay to switch off and disengage from the world every now and then. FOMO is not real, it’s an illusion and in-fact I have come to realise that FOMO is a self created delusion of wanting to ensure you keep up with the rest of the world. When actually, if you’re the one making the decision to switch off, the rest of the world are actually the ones missing out. Not you. So switch off and enjoy life.