May 28, 2017

48hr Phone-Free Trip to Washington D.C.

LOOK AT MAPS and be a tourist... because you are one and so many others are too. It's not a bad thing to call yourself that. Better yet, if you have a bias towards the label, call yourself a traveler. Maps are posted around the city for a reason, even while at home in Seattle, I have to remind myself to stop staring at my screen and look around and get to know the city from the look and feel of it, not what my phone tells me! Strengthen that internal compass, try to understand the coordinate points... (hint: follow the sun East → West!)

USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION! Big cities that you may travel to are designed for easy travel by use of metros and busses. Buy a day pass and get yourself "lost!" You may find yourself exactly where you're meant to be. ;)

WRITE IT DOWN in a journal. I like to focus on gratitude and appreciation. I write down what I'm grateful for, senses and feelings, is it sunny out, do the shapes of the clouds represent something? Feel all those feelings, some of them might not be great but holding them in sure doesn't help. Let them out, let them go, focus on what you have in this very beautiful, present moment. Focus on the good, and more of it will come your way. 

LOOK AROUND YOU instead of at your screen. Notice the beauty that is out there for YOU to look at, rather than the bests of what others post from their lives. There is beauty all around you in everything we see. Yes, this is real life! You might just find something that inspires you.

EAT AT A FOOD TRUCK or wherever you find yourself when you're hungry. Don't go searching for that "insta-worthy" place that everyone must hit in the city you're traveling to. Some of the best meals are often the ones you happen upon when they are in the right place in the right moment.

CARRY A PACK (from Parkland) with all the essentials. Overpack. Play the "what if?" game. You'll be the one who's prepared. Sunglasses, snacks, water, tissues, hand sanitizer, a good book, your journal, pens, highlighters, sunscreen, a picnic blanket, extra camera lenses... then you'll have room for souvenirs or other little things that cross your path and inspire you too. 

BRING A CAMERA, yes, a "real" camera! The ones that you take the card out to download on your computer to process and edit and store in your photos library. Instead of getting the "gram" or "snap" for your story with the totally rad filter of your location that your friends will be totally jealous of, have the photos of your trip on an SD card. Upload and process them on your computer when you get home. Make a cup of tea and flip through your memories that will last forever.

So I really didn't have a phone which inspired me to write this post because I learned how do-able it is to travel without one! Right before I left for Washington DC, literally the night before, it got overloaded and totally crashed on me. Obviously enough, I had too many photos and my phone had less than 2GB free... maybe less that 50MB... ;) It has been the third thing on my to-do list this month: to make space on my phone, delete images and back them up. It caught up with me and taught me a lesson. 

Overall, I had so much fun experiencing DC without distractions from friends in other places. This was a weekend to celebrate family anyways so it made more sense to be present with those who I love and don't get to spend much time with. This was a little wake up call that we are all stupidly dependent on those little devices. I might just turn my phone off more often.

xo, Hallie

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