I recently received a release from Intrepid Travel about a new range of Digital Detox tours that “focus on giving travellers the opportunity to disconnect from their devices and connect with the world.”
The caveat is these tours will be “completely free from technology including cell phones, laptops, iPads and cameras.”
I could easily survive their 7- to 10-day tours without a phone, laptop or tablet and visited all of those places long before those bits of technology even existed. The one thing I couldn’t do without is a camera.
Maybe it’s because I grew up when cameras used film, but I don’t see cameras as digital devices, even though that is what they have become.
For me, the images I create when I travel are partially a means for me to communicate to others what I saw, but also a way to capture memory.
I’ve written journals and diaries to record my experiences, but whenever I retrieve a forgotten photo from a trip long ago, I am instantly transported to the time and place that it was created, more than my illegible, hand-written notes can ever record.
Sometimes I am hazy on the exact details of a place name and the names of people in a photo, but I remember the feeling I had when I took the image and the reason why I thought it was worth capturing for posterity.
Travelling without technology can be liberating and I’m often happier when I am somewhere without wi-fi and our modern demands to constantly communicate to the world what we are doing at every moment, but not having a camera in hand would be a hardship.
Intrepid says the trips were designed after feedback from tour leaders and travellers who believe people are able to develop stronger connections when they unplug and are completely present in a destination.
Before departing on the Digital Detox trip, travellers will be asked to sign a pledge committing to the Digital Detox challenge, which includes a full week without internet, mobile phones, laptops and cameras.
Giving up digital technology when I travel is easy, but there’s no way I could go anywhere without my camera.
For more information about Intrepid’s Digital Detox tours, visit www.intrepidtravel.com/digital-detox.