I constantly cycled through the pages of the internet, slowly teaching myself the ins and outs of what people like and how I might try appeal to everybody. Now fast forward four months, and we've been traveling, posting, keeping up our blog and sharing our lives with the world or everyone that cares to look. As we prepared to come to Palomino, a small town on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, I fretted, the only internet is by paid via satellite and we wouldn't be participating very often.
How would I keep up? What would happen to our followers, would they all abandon us? Our daily page visits to our blog would drop with no new content and the world would end, I was sure of it. As we left the internet for the last time in Santa Marta, I crossed my fingers and left the hostel, leaving the "interwebs" as I like to call them, for a couple of days at least.
Here I am six days later, still in Palomino, and I'll only log on briefly to post this. Now you may be saying, "Kayci are you ok?" And the answer is a resounding yes. I realize now what a crutch I was using the internet as in moments of boredom and quiet. Rather than relishing in the peace of the moment, I would log on to something and stalk various twitter and Instagram feeds, retweeting favoriting liking... Whatever. It was too much.
When I wake up now, I go for a walk on the beach, meditating to the sounds of the ocean waves and sea birds. I don't open my iPad until the afternoon when I might read for a bit. When a moment of boredom comes I sit and soak in the feeling and I have also learned some new card games. I've done more writing and creative thinking this week than I thought was possible and I even had the time to teach myself some rudimentary video skills, making two short movies from some of our recent adventures. Not occupying my brain with a constant stream of information has allowed me to explore my thoughts a bit more and the free space in my minds hard drive is welcome.
It's not that I don't appreciate the value of all of the tools available through the internet and it's applications, but I realize now that they were walking me, not the other way around. Just as an untrained eager puppy yanks it's owner down the street, so I was continually tugged down the rabbit hole of information.
As I edit other posts I've written about finding balance, I realize that this is yet another way to pursue balance in life. Finding a way to use the endless amount of information and stimulation available on the internet in a way that is productive, yet doesn't waste precious time is a delicate dance, one that takes time and practice to master. I haven't had much time, but I leave Palomino on Thursday, and then it will be time to test my new resolve.
My first step will be establishing boundaries with myself and how I use my time. Setting up internet times and keeping to the schedule will be my first step, there's really nothing so important that it can't wait for a couple of hours, the emails, messages and likes will still be there when I log on. It's easy to feel like everything is important and must be responded to immediately, but at some point, we have to out our foot down and say enough is enough. It's impossible to remain present while worrying about what might be happening online and this week has taught me that sometimes, a little bit of space goes a long way.