Passport? Check. Sunscreen? Check. Phone? Toss

Ideas

Passport? Check. Sunscreen? Check. Phone? Toss

I embraced the trend for social media sabbaticals, and it changed my holiday for the better

Anna Hart

After packing my rucksack for a three-night kayaking and wild-camping holiday in the Stockholm archipelago, I gazed at my belongings, thought about what the sun-kissed and sea-based days ahead might hold, and made a final adjustment to the contents of my bag: I took out my iPhone, and tossed it under my bed.

I e-mailed my travel companion, a photographer friend called Jacob, and made firm plans to meet at a café at the airport, like people used to do. I asked him if I could have some pictures of our trip afterwards, so I could pop a few up on Facebook and Instagram when I returned. And then I set off, feeling that I was genuinely escaping the stresses and strains of my everyday life. My love life, my job, my friends and family – none of these could touch me for the next three days because the way stress locates us is via our phones.

As (a) a travel writer, and (b) an inveterate millennial, ditching my phone in an aspirational destination like Sweden felt like the ultimate rebellion. And I’ve noticed more and more of my peers implementing an Insta-ban as they venture off to Santorini, or Cornwall, or Tulum. We’ve realised that for a holiday really to function as a holiday, it needs to be a break from social media – an escape from social status anxiety, from having to photograph every tiny detail of life to prove that we exist...

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