Unplug to Connect
My favorite vacations are ones where cell service is limited and we take a break from technology. When we are lucky enough to do that we find that by unplugging we are connecting more.
Get the kids involved in all aspects. Teach them to read maps and help navigate. Do a little research before you arrive but then be flexible once you get there to let the trip unfold. When everyone is open to being spontaneous it takes a lot of pressure off the person who planned the trip. And then surprises along the way are genuine.
When you take an adventure for a vacation it is about exploring. We like to do bareboat sailing trips as a family. When you sail it is a group effort and everyone pitches in. Adventures are meant to take you out of your normal routine and often out of your comfort zone. The kids gain confidence by navigating routes, assuming the role of driver, and solving problems along the way together. When your eyes are not fixed on a screen but instead on the horizon there is a lot more to take in.
We live in a world where people expect you to be available 24/7 to texts or emails. Take a break from that pressure. You don’t have to fly away to somewhere exotic but try to get away from the phone and computer. Get outside. See the beauty and listen to the music of nature instead of through headphones. Become available to those sitting next to you. Look them in the eye and have a conversation. And don’t underestimate the healing to your soul that happens when you find quiet time for your own thoughts.
It is my greatest joy to plan trips for others who return to tell me they connected with their family like they never have before because there wasn’t wifi and it forced everyone to be present. They want more trips like these because they are made of memories of moments together instead of videos on a phone. Make a point in 2017 to unplug to connect to those you love.