Have you ever gone a day without being on your phone or computer? What about a week? I was a few weeks into my technology detox when our yoga group moved from our mountainside oasis down to the beach near Canggu, Bali. This move indicated we were about halfway through the program. We had shed A LOT of emotional weight and the beach would brinf a different vibe.
Upon arrival, we were allowed a half day off of yoga to ground out, get on the WiFi, and go eat something besides vegetables, rice and tempe. Canggu is a quickly evolving rice field turned tourist surf town. And today, we were integrating back into this “real world”. I can’t imagine how prisoners do it when they get adapted back into the real world, because man, it caught me off guard.
Imagine 13 young adults that for the first time in weeks hear that there is a WiFi password available. Like mosquitos at dusk my yogi friends swarmed and gathered around the router, quickly clicking onto their phones to get some WiFi juice. I, on the other hand, was apprehensive. I had so enjoyed the digital detox, and I wasn’t ready for the mental reaction that my ensure from looking at my emails, Instagram, and bank account. I knew there were some things I had to take care of, but really, I was nervous to see who might or might not have emailed me, if someone had drained my funds, or if a fire back home needed attention. As I held my phone (which had been turned off in my bag for weeks), I questioned the choice. I nervously logged on. And then the notifications came buzzing in. ACK, no, no, I’m not ready. I turned my phone over, then asked a friend to log into my email account for me and see if anything urgent needed my attention. It sort of worked but not really. I called my mom to let her know I was alive and then shut the phone down and put it back in my pack. Whew. I’ll save that for another day.
The “Real World”
Feeling stress for the first time in weeks, I knew I needed to get out of the WiFi zone and go for a walk. Conveniently, we were staying right on the beach. The other California girl and I tried to sneak off from the group as others talked “plans” and “meeting times” (both of which made us cringe). We had almost made it to the street when two of the guys from our group pulled up on their rented motorbikes and urged us to join them for sushi. Porque no? We hopped on the back of their bikes and whizzed away from our quaint bungalow and in towards town. The traffic – in typical Southeast Asia fashion – was madness. Motorbikes with 4 family members on them whizzing everywhere. Cows walking down the street. Street dogs way too casually strolling across the road. After 14 or so near accidents, I decided to GTF off the bike.
Megan and I walked Canggu, which many people really dont do (its all about the motorbike). This meant trying to edge along the road sin sidewalk and not get hit. We passed lots and lots of trendy restaraunts with names like “the avocado factory” and “the shady shack”, boutiques with overpriced swimsuits, and a few more local owned trinket stores. Coming from California, we were admittedly a bit underwelmed with the beach, but it was still beautiful. The in-your-face drinking culture was hard to say no to, as day clubs with hot Aussie surfers lined the beach. We had ourselves a pizza, watched the surf, and chilled out after the walk through town. We took the beach way home.