My Life Without a Phone, and here's what's happening in Hawaii
My phone got destroyed this week in a rainstorm, and everyone keeps tell me I should love being unplugged, but no. I have a lot to say about tech in my life :(
It’s been a few weeks since I sent out a newsletter because life has been busy and I’ve been trying to fix some big things in my world. But things are good. You know what’s not? My phone. A few days ago I went out on my pre-sunrise exercise jaunt with by friend Kate and we got caught in a Florida storm at 7am. It was so intense that my phone that was in a case in my fanny pack under my shirt shorted out from water. Insane. So I’m on day 4 without a phone and it’s an interesting experience.
I’m going to tell you about that, because I actually have some choice words, but also I have some really cool stuff to share about upcoming projects and travel! Thank you for always tuning in to get our updates. I appreciate it, and I like feeling heard (we all like that). So to the heart of what’s happening in life…
Being Unplugged: An Opinion Piece
You know how people will say things they think are just conversational or maybe they’re being all “but you can be thankful for…” and it’s just not helpful? That’s what it’s been like not having a phone. Anyone I see in person or communicate with in email or Facebook messenger is so open with their thoughts. Here’s what I am told repeatedly:
It must be so nice to be unplugged
How great to not get emails
You’re going to feel so good after this
Phone detox is so good for us. I’m jealous.
Oh, it must not be an iPhone…
We’ll start with the worst of these comments: No, I don’t have an iPhone because I care about taking quality photos and video, and I care that our family can easily share with each other without compromising our quality or our dependency on the iCloud that stresses everyone out. My Pixel 6 Pro has been submerged many times and always is fine. This one instance was just too intense and got it just right and it’s under warranty, so there you have it. You iPhone people are like CrossFit folks. SMH.
Here’s the deal for me: I run my own business, and a huge part of that is being able to communicate with people as well as capture photo and video, and often share it through my phone. Also, I’m the PTO Co-president at our school and this week was all about ramping things up. And next week I’m traveling for work and am trying to get that coordinated. And we’ve had work happening at our house and contractors can’t get a hold of me. Also, how am I supposed to know if anyone wants to go to the beach with me?! (actually a legit issue)
But about being on a phone detox that people keep telling me about. Sounds like projecting to me… Sounds like a lot of other people are too into what’s happening on their phones… I am not addicted to my phone, but it’s my strongest tool and my connection to the people I get real with and don’t have by my side physically. Not being able to connect with my close friends, business partners and trusted confidants is what’s hardest.
And in case you were wondering, this is the last photo I took with my phone, moments before it met its demise.
Gulf Shores - What was I doing in Alabama?
I always love talking about Alabama with people because they’re shocked that I like it there. Yes, it has its problems and its backward politics in places, but then there are awesome people and beautiful places. Some of my best friends just relocated to Alabama and it makes me so happy to see them so happy. But that’s not why I was just in Gulf Shores, AL. PS: check out the new site my pal Tammilee is working on about Gulf Shores!
I led two workshops at the Outdoor Writers Association of America conference and got to share the joy and business side of self-publishing online, aka running a website FULL of my own writing and work. It was incredible getting to speak with people and brainstorm with strangers about how they can take their skills and their depository of work and turn it into something for themselves, either a business or setting up an online library of their writing legacy. I think that’s really special.
The other side of my time in Alabama was doing some research for some pieces I’m working on. I love spending time in Mobile, AL. It’s the Birthplace of Mardi Gras, the food is awesome and the wrought iron balconies downtown give it the same vibe as New Orleans, but smaller. I was there updating old work I’ve done and visiting some lesser known spots. I went to Bayou La Batre (where Bubba from Forrest Gump was from), explored the Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge and had the best beach day on Dauphin Island. There was more to it, but I’ll save that for when I’m ready to share my new articles.
Alabama is beautiful and such a change of pace from our Florida tourist town.
Hawaii - less than 2 months away!
We’ve all been looking forward to this project since January and it’s almost here! In 48 days we fly off to Kona on the Big Island for the most epic family Hawaii trip you can imagine. We’re working with UnCruise to do an expedition sailing from Kona to Molokai. It’s going to be so unforgettable and educational!!
Elliott is really looking forward to seeing lava at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Oliver can’t wait for Haleakala National Park (me too!) and I think Chris is just excited to do something so different and new to us in such a magical place. Here’s our basic itinerary for both the shore and sailing parts of our trip:
Kailua-Kona, the Green and Black Sand Beaches, and Hilo
Stay at the SCP Hilo (we’ve stayed here twice before)
Sail out of Kailua-Kona and do all kinds of activities with the UnCruise crew, including my favorite, snorkeling with Manta Rays!!!! PS: free diving is one of my favorite activities and I finally found a mask that is comfortable under pressure and it’ll make the manta experience even better. This is the best free-diving / surface snorkel mask. It’s what I use and LOVE IT!
Sail to Maui - this part of the itinerary is still in discussion to make it both meaningful and respectful to the island and its residents
Visit Lana’i - I have no idea what to expect but I think we’ll have snorkeling and biking
Sail to Molokai for waterfalls and hanging out with some local guides and musicians
Fly back to Maui to do Haleakala NP and chill before coming back to Florida.
This is really going to be epic, low impact and such an education for all of us. We’re totally fine pulling the kids from school for an experience like this, and in particular because UnCruise is so unique.
Wellness Retreat on the Big Island
You know we love the Big Island best, and so does my bestie, Kelly. I’m so excited to share on her behalf that she and another health professional, our pal Bri, are leading a women’s retreat on the Big Island in February. I wish I got to participate, but they’re doing this specifically for ladies. If you’re interested in more information, please check out their Retreat to Paradise Feb 2-6, 2024!
Kelly and Bri are both incredible and some of the most kind people you could imagine. Anyone participating in their trip is going to have an amazing experience. PS: the picture below is Kelly from our trip to the Big Island this last February. She’s awesome to travel with.
Flamingos in Florida!!
This may seem unrelated to anything, but I just have to share. Hurricane Idalia brought flamingos back to Florida!!! I really hope they stick around and repopulate the marshes and beaches. I got to see them two weeks ago on my drive across the panhandle. I stopped into St Marks National Wildlife Refuge and got to see five flamingos.
One of them, Pinky, has been a resident at St Marks NWR since a previous hurricane and just never left. Hopefully he’ll convince his new friends to stay. Fingers crossed!
If you’re visiting the Florida Gulf Coast this winter, you may be in luck when it comes to flamingos. They’ve been spotted from the Big Bend all the way down to Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys. Honeymoon Island State Park, Fort de Soto Park and more all still have flamingoes hanging out, so visit when you can.
That’s all I have to share for now. This week I am heading to Pensacola to explore the destination, Gulf Islands National Seashore and participate in the Pensacola STAMPED: LGBTQ Film Festival. It’s going to be a great trip and then the next week Elliott and I head off to Montana. Fall travel is awesome.
Have a great week, stay healthy, and if you have any questions about our upcoming trips or need some travel advice, you’re always welcome to reach out. Happy autumn!