My husband and I just got back from a delayed anniversary trip to a Caribbean island. We hadn’t been on a lengthy purposeful vacation with just the two of us since our honeymoon and it was absolute paradise. I felt zero sadness at missing an entire week of Michigan November while basking in sunshine and 86 degree heat. 🙂
Early into the trip I asked my husband if he thought vacations like this change people. Always the practical one, he answered with a negative. But looking back, I disagree because I feel changed. In multiple ways.
A week to relax, and explore, and unwind is an amazing gift, especially when you get to enjoy it with your best friend. But an even better gift was not having any cell phone service. I could connect to somewhat sketchy wifi when we were back at our Airbnb and that was all. My phone was simply my camera and clock for an entire week. It was weird…and wonderful.
I quickly realized how dependent I’d become on my phone to entertain me with random information the second I became bored. It’s pathetic, but at first I didn’t know how to just sit and enjoy a car ride. I struggled to use a paper map to help navigate our adventures. It was strange to have to wait and look up information we wondered about later in the evening (if we remembered that we wanted it). But as the week progressed, I felt like my mind became more clear. I was able to fully experience and invest in the moments and people in front of me.
It became obvious that most of the information typically flooding my brain was not only unimportant, but unnecessary.
This truth has become even more obvious since coming home. I wanted to stay detached from my phone, but it’s been a whole lot harder than I expected it to be. However, the more I’m back on social media, the more I that know I was better off without it.
So, I want to share some things that are on my heart.
Things I learned about myself without constant access to the Internet:
- I’m insecure about myself when I’m on social media all the time, and much more comfortable and confident when I’m not.
- I’m quick to compare myself and decide I’m not good enough especially when I see other people’s ratings and numbers.
- Things I think are SO important actually aren’t.
- I miss actual interactions with people. Everyone has a story and I want to know it, the real story. It’s a whole lot easier to change reality hiding behind a screen.
Things I love about life on a tropical island:
- The slow pace of “island time” can be hard to get used to, but is a lovely gift once you do. We tend to live our lives so frantically that days end up flying by like tornadoes. I desperately want to be more intentional.
- We met so many cool people who chose to move from the States to a small island in the Caribbean sea. They were all a little edgy, natural, hippie-ish, real, friendly, and I just wanted to BE them. I couldn’t help what makes some of us willing to do crazy things and live a wild, fun life while others of us stick to “normal” things that make logical sense and avoid risk and adventure?
Things that actually matter:
- People. People matter a whole lot! Everyone is different and everyone has a story that shapes the way they see life. We need to stop being so sure of our own perspective and practice listening, empathizing, and understanding one another.
- Jesus. Religion is so prevalent, but Jesus rejected behavior driven religion and pursued the broken people who knew they needed Him. The Gospel is all about the incredible love of God for people who can’t get back to Him by themselves. And I will preach this beautify truth until my dying breath.
- Humility. It’s so easy to get caught up in the popularity scene when you are trying to publish a book. But I don’t have all the answers or the corner on truth. All I have is my story and Jesus. I want to humbly bring those things to God and let Him use me in whatever way He wants.
I love the way rest helps us to get better perspective on life…super grateful that we got to get away, adventure, relax, and think. 🙂