No Gadgets, No Cry

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gadgetsOn the return flight from Bangalore to London via Dubai, a stewardess, whilst pouring out yet another coffee, asked where we’d been. She nodded expectantly and with reasonable un-interest as we said, ‘a mini tour of South India’ but her whole demeanour changed when we added, ‘without phones, without watches and without computers’, which she then repeated back to us incredulously as it seemed she thought she’d misheard.

I guess she was about 25 and she made my head tilt to the side with a smile when she said, ‘wow, I’ve never known anyone to do that, that must be totally amazing’ and ran off to inform the rest of the Emirates staff who then gave us respectful nods and glances each time they passed our seats because we were the people who had spent three weeks in India-without phones, without watches and without  computers and that obviously put us right up there with the explorers of old.  I mean even Bear Grylls has GPS, phones,  a film crew and a 5 star hotel.

It seems that under a certain age ( I estimate about 25 to 30) to travel without the crutches and aids of the modern world is seen as an extreme sport – much more dangerous than bungee jumping because we were also without the umbilical elastic rope attached.
We did use internet cafes a few times when we were settled  just to check on the kids. The hardest thing, though not that hard at all really, was not having a watch and having to resort to saying ‘excuse me, have you the time’ on a rare occasion- the pay off with this is that you will not only be given the time but also one of those Indian smiles – but when travelling, railway and bus stations still tend to have clocks.

In addition, it was the longest time since I passed my driving test that I hadn’t driven, not that you’d want to drive in India, unless of course your psychiatrist insisted. None of this  you understand was done as any sort of challenge nor for charity.  We just wanted to be free of the shackles that we all have imposed on ourselves – and now having done it, all I can say to everyone, and I have been doing so for the last week, is that if you want a true holiday, a vacation free of pointless distractions, leave behind – in a drawer at home – your hand helds, your net books and tablets, your watches and your driving licence and experience what some of the over 30’s might still remember – a new freedom. And for added comfort, leave all jewellery and tight clothes as well. You will be so much better for it, you’ll do it every time.

Right – the next blog will be my very first impressions of the baptism of fire that is India.
I’m just waiting at the baggage carousel for the rucksack to come through……….still blissfully unaware of the psychopath that is waiting in arrivals holding a smile, his taxi keys and a board that says KEV AND ALI OLLIER.

9 thoughts on “No Gadgets, No Cry

    andycrofts0 said:
    November 25, 2012 at 14:18

    enjoyed the blog Kev. Hope trip continues well.

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      Kev Ollier responded:
      December 7, 2012 at 14:36

      thanks Andy. T’was amazing. More like a rites of passage for the over 40 than a holiday :)

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    littlewing said:
    December 7, 2012 at 11:55

    I’d love to try this one day. I think it would be such a relief just to be lost in the world without any technology with you all the time. My dream is Sth America, in particular the inca trail. I think that would be bliss, particularly without any communication with the outside world.

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      Kev Ollier responded:
      December 7, 2012 at 14:12

      Honestly. It is truly amazing to do! :)
      My resolution for New Year is to be gadget free (phone/pc/watch/tv/)- with an accompanying news fast one day each week. Just one day a week! If we can’t do that we might as well……

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        littlewing said:
        December 9, 2012 at 11:32

        Wow thats hardcore. I don’t watch tv at all, but watch a lot of movies, so id have to cut down on that. Don’t have a watch, but use my phone. Not sure I could be without my phone haha. I’d love to hear how you go though :)

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        Kev Ollier responded:
        December 9, 2012 at 11:40

        yes, all I watch on the TV is movies and even then usually via downloads and USB sticks! The phone is the thing. It’s used for everything now of course including even knowing the time so just having a one day a week phone fast would be a discipline in itself – as long as that day isn’t an easy one, such as a Sunday. Hardcore for me would be a phone fast on a Monday or a Friday – -though I might ease myself in by initially doing Wednesdays. Surely that’s doable? :)

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        littlewing said:
        December 13, 2012 at 11:23

        You could even start smaller with just 1hr/day if u wanted to. Totally achievable :)

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        Kev Ollier responded:
        December 13, 2012 at 15:20

        :) I manage that most days and I run A 24/7 security business! I probably go 2 to 4 hours each day without using a phone or computer, although all email accounts get checked twice a day (morning and night) but I’ve not done 24 hours at home since the internet and phones were thrust upon us. I’m still choosing my day, which I think I’ll do on one of the yoga class days – Mon, Weds or Fri – and I think Wednesday might win so that would be Weds 4th Jan as the first one :o

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        littlewing said:
        December 14, 2012 at 05:44

        Haha actually I had a day last week that the internet was down for almost a whole day. It was lovely. I just read all day. It was a really blissful day. I think I might ban myself between certain hours too. You’re inspiring me Kev.

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