The Co’s travel and tech expert Casie Stewart shares the ultimate globe trotter’s guide to staying (dis)connected while abroad.

 

When I booked our trip to Costa Rica I was planning to relax but I didn’t expect to disconnect as much as I did. I’ve been documenting my life on the blog for the last decade and if you follow me on social, there’s rarely more than an hour with out a Snapchat, Tweet, or share on Facebook. Much like all millennials, my phone an accessory I never take off.  So, after a few busy months (years), I was ready to take a break.

 

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We checked into Anamaya Resort in Costa Rica at sunset Saturday evening before seated dinner in the main house. We stayed in the newly built tree house, 50 feet in the sky, with a yoga/hammock deck, fresh running water, and AC.  Anamaya is a luxury yoga/surf retreat near Montezuma in Costa Rica. I visited for a yoga retreat about 5 years ago and felt instantly relaxed when hit the driveway.  My natural reaction was to ask the wifi password and connect my phone so I could post a few Snaps.

 

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Our first group activity was something they call ‘Opening Circle’, everyone at the resort shared a bit about themselves and their intention for the week. Waiting for my turn I kept thinking, ‘My name is Casie Stewart, and I’m an Internetaholic”.  I told the group I was there to detox and disconnect, to explore with no itinerary.

 

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The next morning I woke up early and took my laptop to the kitchen table before yoga, got a coffee, and updated the internets. I was feeling pretty chill about the week and posted something on IG and Facebook. We rented an ATV on day two and once I stepped off the resort, I was disconnected from wifi. I found myself reaching for my phone A LOT, forgetting I didn’t have service. I used my iPhone to take photos, videos, and make Snapchats so could post when I found a wifi party. [Wifi Party = travellers gathered around a wifi signal] Part of my addiction to documenting is wanting to create more memories, and even without a signal, an iPhone is a great camera.

 

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Over the first few days I posted heaps and come Wednesday, I shared even less. I started using my DSLR more, snapping photos as we drove through the jungle and past the beaches from the back of the ATV. On Thursday I hardly updated anything, it was liberating. I hadn’t been this disconnected in a long time.

 

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Over the course of the week we ate gluten and dairy free with very little sugar. Combined that with lots of yoga, heaps of water, and outdoor activity, my head and body felt recharged. I ended the week with a 90-minute Chinese head massage that focused on relieving tension in the head, neck, and back. All the spots that tense up from too much phone and computer! After the massage she said “I think you’ve been working too hard, take time for yourself“, I think she was right.

 

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By the end of the week I was completely ok with no wifi, the thought of editing the perfect photo for Instagram seemed like a lot of work. I finished an entire book, floated in a hammock, stared at the sky, the stars, listened to the birds and the trees.  As much as I didn’t want to leave the warm air, sunshine and beauty of Anamaya, I was calm and ready to face reality.

 

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It’s amazing what a week away will do for your energy levels and creativity. I ripped open fresh passion fruits with my hands, drank water from a coconut, and watched horses on the beach at sunset.  The entire experience connected me to my thoughts, health, body, and intentions.

 

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It’s easy to get drained by work, friends, life, and social media when we’re always putting energy out, a digital detrox is the perfect way to recharge. Monday morning rolled around I looked at things with fresh eyes and focused attention. I’m gonna to try and keep this up as long as I can! J