Off-Grid and What Does That Actually Mean?
In today’s society everyone is plugged in and “on” all of the time. For many of us checking our phone for messages, tweets, Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest is a multiple-times-a-day thing to do. I admit, I do my fair share of those things as well. That is why part of my vacation this year was such a welcome, albeit sometimes difficult, respite.
This year we spent a week away at an off-grid cabin in the interior of British Columbia. When I mean off-grid, I really do mean off-grid: No running water, no electricity, no internet, barely any cell service unless you are wearing an aluminum foil hat! It was WONDERFUL. We heated water outside for washing dishes and some cooking. We had a fire outside to relax and had a wood fire inside the cabin to warm up the chilly mornings.
Our days were filled with non-motorized water sports, fishing, reading, playing games, relaxing and re-connecting with one another. In today’s fast paced world it was welcome relief. We came away rejuvenated and ready to plug back in to everyday life. Could I have used another week or two to do all the other things I wanted to do? Unquestionably!
What did I learn about myself while being off-grid? I learned that I missed the electronics that seem to push and pull everyday life. For most of the week away I was very happy to be unplugged and unreachable. It gave me a chance to really breathe and to enjoy nature in it’s purest form. We cooked simply, watched for cloud shapes, stared into the fire and took in the beauty surrounding us and took deep cleansing breaths. By the end of the week though, I wondered what I would do if I needed to reach help in a hurry. This especially struck home when my husband took a tumble and scraped himself all up. Not enough to warrant a hospital visit (thank goodness!) but it got me thinking about what I would do if we needed an ambulance. At that point I realized that a week off grid is a wonderful idea: manageable and welcomed but there are drawbacks.
What didn’t I miss? Sirens, car alarms, light pollution, and television. I live where sirens and car alarms are heard multiple times a day. Living in the city where you can’t see the stars even on a clear night from my balcony is not even close to my idea of wonderful. Television is a funny one. At home I choose whether to turn on the television or not but oftentimes it gets turned on out of habit rather than need. I definitely did not need it nor miss it.
Could I live completely off-grid for the rest of my life? Ummm….if I am honest, probably not. My husband works from home and uses the internet every day; I use the internet everyday. The internet, computers and cell phones have forever changed the world. They are part of my everyday life. I just need to learn to manage my time more wisely.
Would I vacation off-grid again? ABSOLUTELY!
What about you? Would you ever take the plunge and disconnect completely for a week?