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I spent the 5 and a half years before our trip living in areas with really poor cell reception, or none at all. Rural Canada is notoriously bad for service.

 

The 2 years before take off I lived without a phone number in a little cabin homestead with some farm aninals. The cozy little place was literally a hole in endless forest. It was rugged living – and good mental training. No cell service, no internet, no power, no running water. Just a lot of silence, and a clean environment. You know the meme where you get all the weed you want if you live in the remote cabin all alone for 30 days? I didn’t get the memo…

 

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DAY 1. Leaving the homestead September 4th, 2017.

 

I got a newish phone before leaving, but I didn’t get a number (I know…) I rode the first 1300 miles and 4 months using WiFi, just winging it. The only reason I got a number was because finding a place late in the afternoon was getting dangerous because of the cold. Having a phone made it easier. I’m not sure if I liked that people could call me, and to this day I never answer when someone is calling.

I have a love-hate relationship with phones, technology and social media. It’s complicated. I know I really don’t like how social media is ruining our attention spans. Here’s 2 examples from my trip:

I stayed with Amish/ Mennonite families where cell phones and TVs were forbidden. To a T, the best, most thought out questions I was asked on my whole journey were from these half-luddites….It was a pleasure hanging out with people who lived like I had lived before the trip…but it sure was a rarity. No one lives like that anymore!
Another example of the effects of modern technology: I once stayed at a home where one of the boys in the family put his cell in a clear plastic bag when he had a shower…

I often think of how much our attention span has deteriorated because of the smart phones. I spend a lot of time imagining where we are going next with all this “connectivity”. Does it freak you out as well?

 

I enjoyed spending my days riding with my phone on airplane mode. Even when it’s active I kept it on silent. You probably noticed I didn’t tell many stories in detail during my trip. It’s just not my style to divulge everything as it happens. I don’t like the drama, I don’t like having to justify myself or my situation, and quite simply, I don’t think everything always needs to be shared in excruciating detail. It does seem to be the norm for many people these days.

On my next trip through Mexico I’m going to post more edited shots, videos and stories, but I’m still going to do the post and then go silent routine. I found that the more or more quickly I replied to comments, the more people expected it all the time, right now. And considering my personality and the logistics of riding a horse down busy and foreign roads, that’s just not a realistic or enjoyable way for me to travel…

I’m interested in hearing thoughts on “connectivity” and how social media is used in real time travel expeditions.