Over Easter we decided to give ourselves a much-deserved week off with the children. We’ve never been away at that time of the year before but we thought we’d take advantage of the Bank Holidays. The trouble is with Easter is it flipping cold, it’s normally very wet and that obviously limits your choices somewhat. We knew we didn’t want to go abroad so we plumped for somewhere that we would never ever go camping – Wales.
When I was a young child we used to go camping in Wales a lot, normally to Barmouth. It pretty much always rained, that is my everlasting memory. As a teenager I went camping in Aberystwyth with my youth club. It was April – I barely felt my legs for the entire time we were there. So yes, Wales, not really that high on my list of camping destinations.
With this in mind I long ago decided that Wales should be done by staying in a hotel or cottage, and I recently discovered a company called Sugar and Loaf whose properties looked rather lush so I snapped one up in the back of beyond. I won’t lie, I was totally won over by the hot tub – I am that fickle. Now, when we originally booked this cottage back in August 2015, we did so under the belief that wi-fi would be installed. A couple of weeks out from Easter and we were contacted to be informed that this was not the case. What did I do?
Panic of course.
Our whole lives run online and we already knew there was no mobile signal to speak of in the area. The kids reaction was different “You’ll have to pay more attention to us then”. That’s sad isn’t it?
After my initial fear about being totally offline and the general annoyance at being let down subsided, I did actually start to warm to the idea. Maybe it wouldn’t be that bad? I got myself organised, made sure I had maps, knew all the details of the things we wanted to do and places to go as Google would no longer be my friend and off we went.
How was it?
It was SUCH a relaxing week. Yes, of course Wales didn’t disappoint and there was oodles of rain – including a very well-timed thunderstorm during a 5 mile hike through Waterfall Country but there were also plenty of sunny moments and we were even treated to a complete whiteout blizzard which the children loved, what with the mild winter we’ve had. We walked, soaked in the hot tub, talked, played games, read, watched TV in our downtime (me and my 10 year old got proper sucked into Come Dine With Me re-runs most days) and it was totally chilled. There was no getting het up about what anyone had said on Facebook or Twitter, no checking of emails, no work intruding on our personal time and no news! Seriously, we didn’t buy a newspaper or watch the news so we knew nothing of what was going on in the outside world. As the news has been pretty horrible recently, this was a blessed relief.
Going off-grid really wasn’t as bad as I had imagined, it was quite a tonic.
I don’t normally buy into the idea of a digital detox – I don’t think it’s necessary at all. Digital is so ingrained in our daily lives, it’s never going to go away, and I would never try and give it up when living my usual life but on holiday? I think I am a total convert!
I think my new theme for our camping holidays this year will be “OFFLINE”.
Have you ever been totally off-grid for a holiday? Leave me a comment below!