Wake up. Check e-mail. Check Facebook. Post & scroll through Instagram. Wake up. Listen to the water. Snuggle with my hubs. Go for a morning snorkel. Lay in the hammock. There is no doubt which one sounds more appealing. And though the latter is only going to be available to very few year round, why not try and mimic our vacation life more frequently in our daily life? After 3 weeks of staying in the beautiful archipelago of Raja Ampat, Indonesia, which took 24 hours, 3 flights, and one ferry to get to from Kuala Lumpur, we noticed our moods had significantly changed. Our relationship seemed stronger, our communication had increased and improved, and we both seemed just simply happier as individuals. Duh, we were in paradise, right? But at this point we had already been traveling for more than 3 months and had been on “vacation” from a job since the end of August, so why were we just discovering this secret now. The one variable that had changed was our cell phone access. We were in the middle of nowhere. And when I say nowhere I mean the most beautiful, clear water, tropical islands with the most vibrant coral life on the planet. If we wanted access to the outside world, we would have had to take an expensive boat ride to the main town of another island and then hop on a motorbike to another hostel and ask to use their wifi. No, thank you.
Not feeling the need to be constantly connected was freeing. I didn’t feel anxious about feeling the need to post for my blog or grab a mouth watering photo to be posted on Instagram. I didn’t feel stressed about articles I was reading on Facebook. When we post on social media we are always putting our best food forward, and I often ended up comparing photos or my food with other bloggers or why can’t I get abs like that girl? I work out a ton and eat really healthy. Were my travel photos worthy enough? Though I always went in lighthearted and expecting to be inspired, I came away feeling deflated. Instead I worked on editing photos and video from my camera and GoPro, read (a lot), meditated, played in the sand and snorkeled or went diving several times a day. Chatting one morning we decided to commit to bring our Raja Ampat life back to our “real lives”once we returned to the U.S. No more phones or computer in the bedroom…ever. They sit on a shelf right on outside the bedroom so we can still hear our alarms. No more Facebook App on my phone and I only read Snapchat messages from friends when I feel like. When I wake up I talk to my husband, do yoga, go to Crossfit, go to work, or cook breakfast. I call my friends more to talk, make firm plans to meet up, and feel less obligated to check text messages. I feel excited to be able to ask friends about what they have been up to instead of feeling like I know what is going on in their lives thanks to their posts.
Yes, I still go on social media and sometimes still get sucked into the tech black holes of social media or research, but I feel less attached and more connected with myself and my partner. I want to be connected with friends and read the news and be a member of society so yes I still want internet access. But little by little I am working to maintain a healthy relationship with my phone, as well as myself.
And learning to just be. I spoke with my friend the other day on the phone and I told her that I was sitting on the couch and staring at the photo wall and she was like wow, you are actually just relaxing. Working on just being.
2 c. oat flour (grind in blender beforehand)
1 large banana
1 c. non-dairy milk
1/2 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tbsp. peanut butter
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/3 c. dark chocolate chips
Coconut oil for waffle iron
Toppings: Peanut butter, cacao nibs, dark chocolate chips
Spray waffle iron with oil and begin to heat up. Blend all ingredients together in blender until smooth. Scoop enough batter to cover the waffle iron and allow the waffle iron to do its job. Repeat until all the batter is cooked up. Top with desired toppings. Feel free to freeze extra waffles for later.
Photo grid of Raja Ampat. Sorry, I had to.