People talk about “unplugging” all the time and it means something different to each of us. Some believe it means shutting down the computer and lying on a beach all week, or leaving the smartphone at home and spending a weekend in the woods with family. This week I will not be unplugging… but rather, “going dark”. For the first time in as long as I can remember I am staying off of all social networks. All of them.
Today I am flying half way around the world to the Middle East. I will be exploring the exotic city of Dubai and the sandy deserts surrounding it. I am embarking on this adventure on my own and have decided to challenge myself to truly spend the time alone, without the comfort of “my friends”. Every selfie or self discovery will have to wait to be shared. When dining alone, I will not pull out my phone to check my Facebook. I won’t be posting photos of me riding a camel on Instagram. I am going on vacation without you.
This challenge was inspired by Scott Dismore who recently went to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to unplug. He had been touring the world with his wife for nearly a year hosting inspirational events with his Live Your Legend network, and found that he needed to take some time away from the his blog and social media. His last blog post described how he felt both excited and worrisome going dark. Sadly that blog was his last because he tragically died climbing the mountain.
I didn’t know Scott while he was alive, but I am getting to know him through his life’s work. A mutual friend share this Ted talk on Facebook the day after he died. His speech about finding the work you love moved me. I mean it MOVED me. I cried as he spoke words that dug so deep into my heart that I literally got up and started to make moves. I joined the Live Your Legend community and have been getting the automated emails from Scott for a week or so now. It is a little erie getting emails from someone who recently passed away at just 29 years old… but in a strange way I like it. The experience is proving that we can make a change in the world, even when our time on earth is over.
So here I am, sitting at the airport about to travel to a land that feels like a whole different world. A place where I don’t blend in and I don’t understand the culture. They say life begins outside of your comfort zone and I am leaping to learn more about what is inside me. I am separating myself from my “normal” and leaving the connected world that lives in my smartphone. I must give full disclosure that I am traveling with my husband Chris, but we will be separating in Dubai as he attends his work and I work on my own. We visited Dubai briefly in 2013 and I was impressed, intrigued and eager to return and explore more. I will be photographing the landscapes and architecture, exploring the spice markets, and visiting a mosque. I will do my best to surrender to the present moment and learn all I can while I am in it.
See you on the flip side Facebook friends. Sayonara Snap Chat. This sounds silly to many folks, but terrifying to others. I feel a little anxious as I am writing these finals words and posting this blog, knowing I have to wait an entire week to see what people say. Will anyone say anything, or will no one realize I went dark? We will have to wait a week and see.