I love traveling.

Anyone else with me? I adore traveling to new places, trying new foods, drinking fun cocktails, and waking up whenever I feel like it. I love exploring new cultures. I love experiencing different activities and environments. If there is something in this world that I could spend all my money on, it would be traveling the world.

I feel so close to God when I’m on vacation. Most likely this is because I actually get a chance to breathe and slow down enough to really soak up the blessings He has poured out on my life. Something about being in a new place will give me a fresh outlook on life and prompt my heart to praise our maker.

My most recent vacation was mine and my husband’s HONEYMOON! That’s right, y’all, I am officially a “Sabdo” and I couldn’t be more stoked about it. I am learning so much about God and relationships through this young marriage. Trust me, I have a million blog ideas twirling around in my brain at the moment, and they WILL find their way onto the site, but I’ve been really trying to spend some intentional time with my new husband, our new home, and our new routine over the past two months – and it has been absolutely incredible (and difficult lol).

Back to the honeymoon, though – my husband and I traveled to the Bahamas and stayed in Atlantis. Atlantis is an beautiful resort that has so much to offer and enjoy. My gracious parents let us stay in their timeshare for the week (thanks Mom and Dad!), and we saved our pennies to make sure we could enjoy the crap out of our time near the blue water.

When trying to decide what we should spend our money on, we decided that the Verizon overseas data package just wasn’t going to happen. Wifi was not free at the resort we were staying at, so we opted not to sign up for that either.

That meant that Travis and I were stuck on an island for an entire week without contact with the outside world. We were unplugged completely. Sure, we kept a phone on us just in case their was a freaky weird emergency, and we texted our families from the airport wifi when we had landed safely, but other than that, we did not have cellular data or wifi for the entire trip.

And it was phenomenal.

Have you ever tried to give up social media for a certain amount of time? You really don’t realize how much time and energy you waste on it until you choose to step away from it.

Although I was so unconnected from the world, I felt so incredibly connected to Travis on this trip. So much so, that I really wanted to dedicate this blog post to challenging each of you to unplug on your next vacation. I know, I know – vacations are the best time to show off what you’re up to on social media, right? Well trust me, if you choose to show up where you are at instead of show off to people who could really care less, you are going to walk away from your summer vacay feeling so much more resting and connected to what matters most.

So here is why I believe that you should unplug on your next vacation:

1. Instead of worrying about taking an Instagram-perfect picture or a Snapchat-worthy video, you will spend your time creating memories and embracing imperfect moments.

One of adventures Travis and I went on in the Bahamas was swimming with the pigs. The pigs are adorable and everyone who went on the excursion got the opportunity to swim and take pictures with the pigs.

Y’all, it legit made me sick to my stomach to observe some of the other tourists who were in our group. Everyone had their phones out – taking videos and pictures. One teenage girl was asking her Mom to get a picture of her swimming with a pig and – no lie – took at least 7 pictures because each one wasn’t “good enough” or was not at the “right angle.” What?! Girl, you are on a vacation with your family and you are more interested in taking the perfect picture than taking a moment to swim with the pigs with your Mom. Momma, forgive me for my teenage years. I know my attitude was even worse.

Everyone had their phones out, though, and hardly anyone actually took the time to swim with the pigs. So many people missed out on a beautiful memory of swimming a lap with the pigs because they were too busy looking at the picture through their screen.

Put the phone down and swim with the dang pigs, people.

2. Disconnection From Your Normal World and Connection To Who Matters The Most.

I have a few close friends in this life that I would consider going on a vacation with. I am not going to spend vacation time that I have worked hard for with people I do not want to spend time with. That may sound kind of harsh, but that’s the truth.

The people you choose to vacation with – whether they be family or friends – are usually the people in your life that mean the absolute most to you. Unplugging allows you to really focus your energy and time on the ones you chose to carve out this time for anyways.

An added bonus – no one at work can contact you. Now, I know that this may seem like an impossible thing for some of you who are jobs that demand your attention 24/7 (I am not one of those people, so I honestly cannot speak much from that point of view), but I really challenge you to think about vacationing to a place where you do not have cell phone service so that you can have the time to truly unplug (cruises, overseas, random places in the middle of no where, camping where there are no phone chargers, etc.). The show will go on (even if it doesn’t go on smoothly) when you are away and you deserve to have the opportunity to recharge so that you can come back to work better than when you left.

3. Opportunities to Embrace Silence and Just Breathe.

There were moments during our honeymoon that were quiet because we had ran out of things to talk about. Instead of reaching for my phone like I usually do, I instead embraced the silence, looked around at the beautiful scenery, took a deep breathe, or actually thought of new topics to talk about. We live in a world where any silence is awkward and is an automatic que to reach for the cell phone. Silence doesn’t have to be that way. Finding still moments on vacation is honestly one of my favorite parts about getting away.

The only time I pulled out my phone was to either check what time it was, set an alarm, or take a picture. The pictures that I took were pictures that I actually wanted to take of memories that I actually wanted to remember. And since I’m still on my “Year Without Social Media” cleanse, this is the first time anyone other than myself, my family, and some close friends have seen them.

Life is too beautiful to spend wasted in a phone. Vacations are too rare to allow them to tick by without having our full attention.

I challenge you to spend your next vacation – whether it’s a mini-vacay or a two-week long cruise – unplugged from social media and cellular data. Spend the time you would usually spend on your phone truly connected to the people you have chosen to vacation with. I promise that the world will keep on turning at home and you will be able to rest your mind in a way that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

And if you don’t have a vacation scheduled, schedule one. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive, but save up to treat yourself to an adventure with your favorite person or people. Your wellness depends on it.

Sincerely,

Sabdo

Have you ever unplugged from a vacation? Share your experience in the comments below – would love to hear your thoughts. (:

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