At this moment you may be wondering what exactly a squirrel has to do with technology. Absolutely nothing is the correct answer and this post is about being disconnected from the constant online world we live in for just a few days.
Last week my wife and I drove up to Northern Georgia with friends to spend four days at a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains. My wife packed her laptop and I did the same with my netbook because we were unsure about connectivity at the cabin that we were staying in.
We also had our cell phones with us as is the norm these days for most of us.
Well when we arrived in McCaysville, GA and the cabin we discovered there was no Internet available although the owner did have cable. I suspect if I had a piece of CAT 5 cable I would have been able to plug into the cable modem for connectivity but we may never find out about that. Bad geek on my part for not having a CAT 5 cable – just in case :-) Turned out this was a good thing.
Anyway, the next step at the cabin was to check how strong the cell signal on the phones was and we had limited connectivity in the mountains. Voice calls were manageable – data calls were out of the question from anywhere other than when I was laying in bed upstairs, with the phone pointed in a specific inclination and first thing in the morning. In other words data was not happening on the mountain top.
There were brief periods of connectivity when we came down off the mountain as we toured the area but let me tell you – this remote area does not have near the coverage that many of us in large metropolitan areas enjoy on our phones. However most areas we visited had decent connectivity, at least in the population areas, and that allowed me to access my POP3 email accounts and Twitter for some updates.
On Sunday we were out and about and so I was able to follow my Dallas Cowboys via my Windows Mobile browser using the ESPN mobile website on my phone without much of an issue. Although I suspect my public reactions – both positive and frustrated ones – might have caught a few people off guard that were near me. Most especially when they scored the game winning TD in overtime.
What I found as we returned home from a fantastic trip and visit to a beautiful part of our country is that not having a constant connection to the Internet was not the end of the world. I really enjoyed getting up and taking my fishing pole and tackle down to the water and doing some fishing – even though I hardly caught any fish. It just did not matter. Relaxing, enjoying nature’s beauty and the ballet of squirrels storing nuts for the Winter was a treat. I think many times we get so wrapped up in our day to day activities – both online and offline – that we forget to stop and watch what is happening around us. Don’t forget to take that time for yourself when it presents itself.
In closing I will leave you with these two things: