Although it was only 10 years ago, studying abroad has changed a great deal since I went to Italy in 2002. iPads and Facebook didn’t exist. We didn’t travel with cell phones or laptops. Generally, we went to the pay phone to call our parents once a week and to the internet cafe when we could fit it in. We even wrote our papers by hand due to the lack of computer access. To be 100% honest, I loved the lack of technology. I loved being disconnected with few expectations to communicate outside of those who were with me abroad. I was able to focus on exploring Italy and building relationships with the other students. Being abroad was relaxing and re-energizing without the constant ring of the phone and the tiny red flags in our school email indicating unopened messages.
This past weekend I took the same mentality from studying abroad and disconnected. Hubby and I flew to Minneapolis on Friday afternoon to join family and friends for a weekend at the lake in central Minnesota. When we arrived Friday evening, I quickly realized my cell phone received limited service and the internet was patchy. My first inclination was to be frustrated. How was I going to blog? What if our realtor called? But then I looked around me. I was surrounded by a beautiful landscape with family and friends I’ve known since I was a small child. Why would I want to spend my time on a computer when there were so many other things to enjoy? So dear friends, I disconnected this weekend to enjoy all of this instead: