By the time you are reading this, the wife (Cruella) and I will be winging our way homeward, off the Azamara Quest and returning to reality.
It’s been a much needed break from that sometimes cruel state.
Aboard ship one can, if one so chooses, be totally cut off from the outside world. Internet service is spotty and slow, to say the least. In addition it is, frankly, expensive, so much so that Cruella and I opted to just have one account we shared. Sharing of course means having to let each other know when one or the other of us wanted to use it.
“I’m kicking you off” became a commonly shared marital expression of love.
Television is limited to a few news networks (MSNBC, BBC World Service, Sky News, and yeah even Fox News), ESPN, plus the onboard shill network optimized to get you to book another cruise, and a couple of channels showing movies in rotation. You are segmented off from the world of the Food Networks and Home Repair Networks and the other 500 channels with nothing on. What I found especially nice about the television situation is that beyond your cabin and a single TV in one of the many bars, that’s it. No screens blaring news of the world or extolling you to make purchases everywhere you go. At first it was a bit jarring. We have become so inured to the constant barrage of information that to be suddenly cut off is like a drug addict finding his normal dealer has disappeared.
Thus, beyond checking in for emails and the occasional social media post, my world has been contracted to my wife and our newfound friends aboard ship. Even my podcast world has shut down because while out walking around the deck for exercise I found I didn’t want to even have opinion and history piped into my ears. I wanted the sound of the ocean, the lapping of footfalls from other folks, and the occasional tinkling of glasses as my only audio accompaniment.
I wanted to be in another world. And I was.
This was truly a vacation and I strongly urge everyone to take one. It would be nice if you could take a cruise or retreat to a mountain cabin or a solitary shack on a beach somewhere, but really everyone everywhere can take that vacation anytime they want.
You just need to turn off the non-stop barrage of information coming at us at a blistering rate every moment of seemingly every day. Turn off the TV, turn off the computer, shut down the router if need be and take some time to listen to the natural world. I don’t want to get all hippy groovy on you, but you would be surprised what just a couple of hours of walking in the woods or along a shore or even just idling in the local park can do for one’s sanity.
Trust me, the world will be waiting for you when you get back. Don’t worry about FOMO, these days there is no such thing as missing out on something. When you reconnect to the wired world there will be plenty of locations from which you can get a rerun of just about anything. Take an hour. Take a half hour. Heck, take ten minutes and return to the natural world. It’s easy, relaxing, and very rewarding.
Go do it right now. We’ll all be waiting here for you when you get back.