How much do you rely on Wifi, the Internet, Google?

 

Version 2

 

No wifi again.  This time for 5 days. 

The past few weeks in New Zealand have been filled with amazing adventures, exploring and long road trips.

 It was now getting to the end of our trip.  We arrived at Cook’s Lookout Motel, Paihia, an area called the Bay of Islands, the very north part of the North Island.

 

Version 2

Version 2

 

The information about this motel had indicated access to wifi.  I had planned a couple of days of catching up.  Messenger and FaceTime with the family.  Surfing the internet.  I wanted to read the blogs I follow.  I was planning to research some information to add to my stories. 

The owner of the motel had a complicated story about major wifi glitches in this area the past few weeks.  No wifi for guests right now.

It was slightly disappointing.   Although, not unexpected.

Over the last two months in New Zealand we often have had minimal or no access to wifi.  Sometimes, we were allowed only 100mb of use. 

 

I really didn’t know how much I rely on the internet until it was no longer available:

  • Researching my husband’s spider bite:  symptoms;  should he see a doctor?
  • The weather forecast each day
  • Sending birthday wishes to friends and family
  • Is the Giant Weta harmful?
  • Names of bird species we encounter
  • Booking excursions
  • Opening times of attractions
  • Prices
  • Restaurant open/close times
  • Restaurant menus
  • Checking emails
  • Confirming our flights
  • World news
  • Who won best actor category at the Oscars?
  • What would you add to the list?

 

Version 2Giant Weta – “New Zealand’s most recognizable creepy-crawlies”   weblink 

 

Version 2Kea – species of large parrot found in the forested and alpine regions of the South Island of New Zealand  weblink

 

What did I do without wifi for 5 days?

  • I finished reading books I had started at the beginning of this trip.
  • I went swimming.
  • I did more tramping (New Zealand’s word for hiking).
  • I wrote stories.
  • I took photos.
  • I watched the sunrise and sunset.
  • I sat outside, breathing in the fresh sea air, truly enjoying the scenery.

 

 

Version 290 mile beach – North Island, New Zealand

Version 290 Mile Beach – North Island, New Zealand

 

Do I miss not having wifi?

We have gone camping in areas on the west coast of BC and in the Yukon where we were truly unplugged.  I plan for it, and I actually look forward to the respite from the online world.

 

Version 3Long Beach – Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada

 

My stress level and angst significantly decline when I am oblivious to the daily news, fake and otherwise.

Wifi affects almost every part of our lives now.  It is how we communicate, surf for information and often do our shopping and our banking.  Our entire vacation was researched, planned and booked using the internet.

 

Version 2

 

I did not miss access to wifi while we were on the Bay of Islands.

We were there for only five days.

The first thing I did when I arrived home?

I plugged in my computer. 

 

Postscript:  I wrote this story about one week ago while we were still in New Zealand.  We experienced a wonderful, life-changing adventure.  Everywhere we went we met kind, thoughtful New Zealanders.  I am deeply saddened by the tragedy in Christ Church this week.  My heart goes out to the victims, the victim’s families and all of New Zealand. Unfortunately, this is not fake news.

 

24 thoughts on “How much do you rely on Wifi, the Internet, Google?

  1. What a lovely place, Erica! Oh, I can relate with that no wifi. When we went to Singapore I was not able to work out my network. We have to rely to wifi and there are only selected places we had accessed to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Winnie. Definitely a beautiful country, and of course, extra sad right now. In other small communities we were allowed 100mb of wifi use. That basically allowed for a few quick minutes of Messenger with my daughters. I am spoiled where I live. Nice to hear from you Winnie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Erica! Yes. I have friend who lives in Christchurch and thankfully they are safe. Oh, that allotted wifi use is too small. Very nice to hear from you too, Erica! Have a lovely weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Being without wifi can be very relaxing and, as you discovered, you can get a lot done, but I do miss having a computer at my fingertips. The bad thing I have found, though, is that, once you get access again, you get flooded with emails and other stuff you didn’t receive while you weren’t connected. Anal me can’t just hit delete… I have to make sure I haven’t missed anything “important.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Janis, It is almost as if this was an artificial situation and we were on vacation. A good excuse to not check emails. You are right about being very relaxing. In my “real life” I am always checking my phone or computer. I want to access information and I have to confess, I do have a little fomo (fear of missing out). Thank you for your response.

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  3. Hi Erica,
    It sounds like a fabulous trip! Sadly the news from Christ Church is becoming all too familiar…
    Unplugging is a welcome break and it is true how much we rely on wifi and phone data. Even in conversation – for example we were visiting with family from Michigan today in Florida and talking about bowling. Dan’s cousin is an avid bowler but had never heard of “Candlepin Bowling” which is what I grew up with in Massachusetts. So, out came a phone, a quick search of the internet and a photo of a candlepin bowling alley was shared. 🙂
    Not to mention the other things you talked about – reservations, plane flight boarding passes on mobile, email, Facebook, blogging, and on and on.
    When we are on the boat, especially in remote places like the North Channel of Lake Huron there are places where there is just no signal of any kind.
    And we survived! And were just present in the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Nancy, Thanks for your input. I had written a few stories while we were in New Zealand. I was planning to share them when we returned back home. I had debated on posting any of them right now, due to the sad news. I had added a note when sharing with friends: “Every community we visited in New Zealand was multicultural. Main streets in every town had diverse, ethnic restaurants. We felt safe everywhere we went.” (and more). Bottom line, is I agree with you, that the sad news is becoming all too familiar. Re: wifi, guess what I did? I googled “Candlepin bowling.” My goal is to continue to be present in the moment. It is a good feeling.🙂

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  4. Hi, Erica – I’m like you — I love my planned ‘technology breaks’ and find them very relaxing. BUT when I am planning on having WIFI – especially to catch-up — it is very maddening wehn it is not available/not working.
    I’m so glad that you enjoyed your trip. Your photos are beautiful.
    I join you in sending prayers to all in Christ Church. So devastating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Donna, I agree with you. It is very relaxing to have technology breaks. And you zeroed in on the significant word “planned.” I had thought that we would have easier access to wifi on this trip. I agree with Joanne, International Coverage for us next time. Very sad, devastating event this week. A few words continue to surface ‘Love always wins over hate’ (on a card) “Because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion” (NZ PM Jacinda Ardern). Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Donna.

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  5. This week’s horrific event in Christchurch must have been particularly jarring for you since you had just returned from NZ. We are all deeply shocked and saddened.

    I often think about how the internet has completed changed our lives. In the mornings we used to sit with our coffees and the newspaper to start our day. Now we sit with our laptops. Same place, different medium.

    As you said, everything we do now touches the internet – from checking the weather and traffic to booking arrangements. I’m not one to have my nose to my phone everywhere I go, but I like to start my day and afternoon down-time plugged into the world.

    Having no wifi while travelling would make me a bit crazy. We now travel with international coverage on our phones which gives us the ability to create our own hot spots when the wifi is unreliable. Some may call it an addiction, but it’s as important to me as my toothbrush 😏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right, Joanne, jarring for us and all of humanity. We spent one week in Christ Church and we met kind, friendly and always helpful people. They would often bring up stories about the Feb. 2011 Earthquake. The damages were still very apparent. The event this week was a different level of devastation. Very sad. I agree with you too, on getting International Coverage if we plan on a future trip. Last year we were in Iceland and we rarely used wifi. It was an entirely different country and we were camping. We would have welcomed and used coverage much more often in NZ. Live and learn. Thank you for your input and advice, Joanne.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Your second image is gorgeous!!

    I would miss looking up sunrise, sunset, golden hour, and blue hour times in addition to weather. But, the T.V. news gives you the local weather. I suppose I’d get used to reading the paper again and going to the library to look up things like spider bites. Somewhere in my home library, I have a Home Remedies book. It’s probably outdated and in need up of an upgrade. You never know. We had a power outage not long ago, it was dark, just 6 yrs old #1 Grandson and I were home He-Man was away on business we got bored real fast. I broke out my emergency crank up radio and we both took turns cranking and finding different stations to listen to. Fortunately, my wifi was on my phone was still working so I was able to get updates about the power outage.

    I definitely rely on it a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Deborah re: the photos. Coming from you, this means a lot! I realized that I had taken a number of photos in approximately the same location, although at a different time and day. I didn’t realize that there is such a thing as golden hour and blue hour. I agree with you that we used to survive just fine without the internet. It is just so convenient these days (and overwhelming). I love enjoying life through the eyes of a 6 year old. For me it’s a 5 and 3 year old. I continue to send you and your family good wishes. I hope all is going in the right direction.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, those are photographer’s favorite times to make images because the light is so beautiful. I have an app that I use almost daily that tells me almost all things celestial. If only it would tell me today you’ll get the shot you’ve been imagining for months or years! 😃
        Going back to the same spot at different times of day and year is such a rich, and surprising experience. It’s never the same way twice is it?

        Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. Things are a bit improved. I am home again for I hope awhile, but I’m keeping my bags packed. They’ve got a long road ahead of them. Hugs! xx

        Liked by 1 person

  7. The first thing I thought about when I saw that this post was written from/about New Zealand was the recent tragedy which is so heart breaking. I feel as though the vile racism from the U.S. president is spreading all over the world, even to places like New Zealand where this kind of hatred and shooting rampage was until now, unheard of.

    Back to your post…

    I think one of the key factors with regard to wifi that you make and it is SUCH a good point, is that if we are expecting to HAVE it, then it is definitely hard to do without it. Much like you, we use it for everything while travelling as we no longer buy guide books (cant get them in Sri Lanka and too expensive to ship) and to heavy to carry around when one has minimal luggage…. BUT, if you KNOW you won’t have it such as when you went camping or one goes to remote regions then I think the time, as you so rightly point out, is actually way less stressful and one can focus elsewhere.

    The best wifi we have ever experienced was without a doubt in Ubud, Bali and because my husband’s work is primarily via internet, that is a place that for us is a no brainer (along with a lot of other reasons) of course too. But speedy wifi, ahhhhhh, not quite the same effect as a great sunset, but valuable nonetheless.

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Peta, Definitely very sad about the recent tragedy in New Zealand. We also have stopped bringing guidebooks with us, although, I did bring one book and a map. I didn’t even open the book, although I did haul out the map. I started to get confused as to which body of water we were viewing. For instance, at Cape Reinga it is the “meeting of the seas” Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean. Wifi access and speed make a huge difference when necessary for your work. I actually welcomed no internet in my situation. You are a seasoned traveller, Peta, and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

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  8. A very sad tragedy indeed. I have always heard about the beauty of New Zealand. Your photos have truly captured that! I rely on Wi-fi much more than I should!! I do enjoy unplugging, but prefer to know that I’ll be “unplugged” beforehand so that I have maps, info etc. available vs being shocked by the lack of access. lol. It sounds like you filled those 5 days with wonderful things and sights. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Amy, I had debated on posting about NZ right now, because of the tragedy. The people of NZ really helped to make our trip extra special. We often had someone approach us, helping with directions and recommendations. It is hard to put into words. The vibe was always friendly. I do hope this tragedy does not overshadow all that is good in NZ. You are right, Amy. We ended up with true R and R on the 5 days. Nice to hear from you. I hope you are enjoying the beginning of Spring.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Those pictures are stunning! Okay, nine out of ten are. The Weta? That one requires I have a stiff cocktail tonight now that I’ve seen it (because I certainly can’t un-see it). As Joanne remarked, the news from New Zealand has been so awful in the last week; your pictures instead really do show the best of that beautiful country. I also love that sunset pic of you on Vancouver Island — simply stunning.

    It’s great that you got lots of reading done. That’s probably for me the main reason why it takes me so long to finish books now. I’m always drawn back to my computer or tablet for some reason. But, yeah, we are really dependent on the Internet now. Whenever we have a power outage ultimately that’s the first thing I end up missing (when it normally should be the air conditioning!).

    Great post, Erica. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Marty, We have many great memories and photos of NZ because it is a beautiful country. Unfortunately, last week’s sad event cast a shadow. I read a note yesterday where Stephen Colbert is postponing his trip to NZ right now. His words: “I just love this country. If you’ve never been, go. The people there are unbelievably kind and welcoming.”

      I am with you, Marty, on taking longer to finish books right now. I often interrupt my reading and check online often. I need to work on this. I appreciate you reading my post and your input. (Also, Marty, I hope you are taking your vitamins, exercising, wishing you a long, healthy life 😊).

      Liked by 1 person

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