This summer I have the unique opportunity to travel out of the country on a missions trip. I am excited because this will be my first time out of the country since 2019. In preparing for this trip, one concern of our team has to do with phones and technology. The ability to communicate will be very limited, so the team recommended that we not take our phones.
I decided that this would be a great tech break, so I am going to leave my technology in the states and go rogue without it. To do that, though, I have to prepare and I thought I would share some of my thoughts and preparations here. Maybe this will encourage you to take a no-tech trip.
The main thing that I was concerned about with leaving my phone in the states was emergencies. There is always the question of what if something happens and what will I do? The trip leaders will be taking their phones, so I will make them aware of the fact that I won't have mine. If something does happen, they can use their phones to get ahold of whoever they need to back in the states. Safety is always first, so I nailed that down first.
While communication won't be happening, the other thing I use my phone for is the camera on it. I have been saving for a nice camera for a while, so I picked one out, bought it, and am trying to learn the ins and outs before I go on my trip. Taking a camera along isn't always necessary, but it is a fun way to make memories come alive for other people and to capture the moments.
The week before I leave, I plan to notify the key people that I communicate with about my offline status. I think notifying people is a good way to be a good friend. You don't want the people you regularly communicate with to be worried about you when you don't answer. Also, those who are closest to you can notify anyone else that might wonder why I am not answering.
I started to think about all the things I wouldn't have when I leave my phone and part of me thought it might be best just to bring it, but I think it will be a good debrief. It will take me away from technology, social media, friends and land me right where I am with my eyes on everything around me. It will be a great chance to soak in the quote by Jim Elliot, "Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation that you believe to be the will of God." One thing we truly miss in this world is "being all there". Notifications take us away from moments, so this will be a great test of my ability to be "all there".
I write this as if it is a flippant, leave my phone at home, but this is really going to test me. I am mentally preparing for everything that will hit me. Thinking about the first night laying in bed just me and not a phone or laptop, scares me a little if I am honest. Not being able to communicate with friends and family scares me as well, but the test will give me an idea of where I am and help me to really spend time with the people around me.
So, I am preparing for this adventure and I hope to do a follow up post with how it went and lessons I learned. Stay tuned!