Adventure: Left Behind

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For the past three days, none of you existed and it was bliss. I didn’t know you. Had never met you. Didn’t understand your very being. Gone, just gone. Silenced by the sound of the river, the wind, and the crack and thump of Mr. Lightning and Mrs. Thunder.

My family did not exist either. Friends? Nope. The only person that existed was the one right next to me. You know her even if you don’t know her. She was there. Right next to me regardless of what I did or said. And I returned the favor.

Three days of nothingness from the outside world. Phone off and inserted in tiny slot in the dashboard. Forgotten. In fact, an hour after returning to the noisy world I began the frantic pat-down of my body attempting to remember where my little rectangle of metal and glass actually was.

I now have a statement to make and you may or may not like it. My feeling is this. All of with, with a few key exceptions, should unplug at least two days a week. Your first response might be “Well, that’s fine and dandy for you but not for me I’ve got THINGS to do.” Maybe. Maybe. Or maybe you just don’t want to unplug? Your choice, not judging, only saying our world would be exponentially better if we’re to take the unplug plunge.

Because what else fell away was the noise of the unnecessary. The noise of the chatter of the hum of the murmur. All the things we know we don’t actually need to know. The things we tell ourselves we need to know but know we don’t. The things we tell ourselves we have to know to stay “informed,” but also know destroy us, bit by bit, on a growing daily schedule. The news check. The social check. The check check. The check check of the check to check the check. You know who you are. Most of us.

The view from camp. Best part…no signal. Swam everyday, and yes, I’m still cold.

All I know is I’m going back as soon as possible. Right after this post I will visit the site again and see what is out there and if nothing is there I still go. And for me, this comes with real danger because if I were to ever pass the tipping point I would go and I would never come back. I wouldn’t even look over my shoulder.

Comments 11

  1. That’s the way to do it! I’m exploring the idea of disconnecting for all of October, pop up on 4 November and see what things look like. I’ll take calls from the family as long as they don’t discuss current events. I’d rather hear what they’re reading or planting. Washington votes by mail – getting that ballot in will be my only priority. Please vote everyone. I’d make a joke about “unless you’re voting for Trump”, but I’ not in much of a joking mood these days. If any Trump supporters are reading this, I know Biden isn’t awesome, and the Democratic party has been lousy at connecting with working-class America, but I’m convinced somewhere deep down you know that Trump is running an awful con.

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      As you know, I loathe our entire political system and think both parties have some serious explaining to do but Trump is something far worse than either party could invent. Same could be said for his family, his white collar crime friends and the rest of his orbit. It’s odd to listen to Repubs justify voting for him because he is a Republican but he never identified with either party and has proven in four, long years, just how far gone he is and how willing he is to scrap decency for personal gain. He’s toxic and we have four years of public office and fifty years of public life to base this on. Anyone would be better at this point.

  2. Ah man, with all this unplugging I forgot to check the check of the need to check Milnor’s website. It’s been a while. We’re not too attached to our little digital devices here in our family, we often have that not sure where’s my phone at moments. But even then, it’s still always there, around our minds. We did go have a hike in our National Park last week and the little device stayed away for the day until back home, it doesn’t feel right to me to be in the middle of nature and looking at a phone. It doesn’t quite compute. Anyhow glad you weren’t thinking about us, got a break from the hectic digital life.

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  3. Most people know that this is the right thing to do (our parents knew it from the very beginning leaving their cell phones unattended until THEY need it ).
    It became a new longing, a desire for something to be obtained. The new freedom.
    Some lucky ones of us can do it from time to time.

    At some point, we will do it permanently, only if we resist the temptation to share our success with others in our social networks 🙂

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  4. There’s unplugging and there’s connecting with Nature – a most efficient combination. Like 1 plus 1 equals five.
    Can be addictive – is for me.
    over and out

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      I just read a quote that goes something like “Humans worship and invisible God while destroying nature, not knowing the nature they are destroying is the God they were looking for.”

  5. Dan,

    A great post and there is nothing better than unplugging from the world, even if it’s just at the weekend.

    I’m in a lucky position in that I can be in the Austrian Alps in about 2hrs from my house and there are lots of very large lakes/woodland in less than an hours drive away. Sometimes the very things close to you are often overlooked and I need to visit these places more and unwind. This year has been a strange one so I’ve not always had the chance.

    This website is one that I check/read in detail on a regular basis and one I keep coming back to. I know you go online as little as possible but is there websites that you still check that may interest viewers of this one? I think you have mentioned sites like LensCulture, FlakPhoto, etc. in the past but care to share any? Or do you rely more on receiving newsletters?

    Talking of which, when is your planned newsletter coming out? 🙂

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      What’s happening amigo? Austrian Alps sounds pretty good to me about now. Any alps for that matter. I rarely look at photography online. Most of my online time is for books, adventure or science. Or researching, buying things I don’t need, etc. I’m still a book guy when it comes to photography but even that is tapering off as the rest of my life expands and the photography retracts. Now, when I get time to work on my project the photography will return.

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