Going through the airport yesterday, I noticed that it was a rare sight to see without some kind of large electronic equipment, be it laptop, ipad or kindle. This was brought even more to my attention by the fact I was returning from a holiday in which the largest electronic device I brought with me was my camera. The second being an old-fashioned phone with no touch-screen, no internet connection, and was too expensive to use outside of the UK. As a break from the screen-heavy lives that occupy us, my family had decreed that it would a screen-light holiday. Laptops were banned. Not to mention attempting to access the internet in the house we stayed in was a futile effort. There was none.
It was strange. With no internet to distract me, I suddenly seemed to have so much time on my hands. In the space of three days, I finished reading three full-length books. I wrote more, I drew more, and more importantly, I learnt more. Going to Poland, a country I regrettably only had very little knowledge about, provided me with a chance to expand on all I knew about the world. I spent some time attempting to learn the language (a feat that failed miserably thanks to my accent and terrible pronunciation.) I also got to discover the culture and history that resides there. Everywhere you go there are remnants of the Second World War, an event that cannot be forgotten. But beyond that, there is the rich history full of stories from the Teutonic Knights to King Jan III Sobieski and the Battle of Vienna. There are places that you have to go to in order to truly get the feel of the place you’re visiting, and the history you’re uncovering.
With internet I probably would not have given myself a chance for any of it to sink in. It was highly probable I would return to the house more concerned with checking my mail and finding out what was going on in the outside world rather than thinking back on what I had learnt. While it was hard, and really bizarre, being without any connection with the real world, coming back to real life now makes me realise how good it felt. I was more relaxed, happier and care free being cut off from everything. I could probably try and go around here without using my laptop or phone or whatever else might come to mind, but it will always be there lurking in the background. I won’t be completely free. Not like I was on holiday.
So until the next time I go away, I am back to ordinary life and ordinary me. At least now I can start properly working on my novel again. Notebooks can only get me so far, particularly with how slow I write. Anyways, that’s it for my melancholic thought of the day.