Months and months ago we asked our teenagers where they would like to go on holiday. They picked somewhere we had been years before and so it all got booked. Two weeks ago we arrived. It was just as it had been before – a huge, white sand beach, beautiful clear water, delicious cinnamon buns from the local baker, and no WiFi.

“Mum, what’s the WiFi key? I can’t get connected!”

Me, in a quiet voice. “There is no WiFi.”

“Sorry, I didn’t hear that properly. For a minute I thought you said there was no WiFi.”

Me, shrugging shoulders. “Sorry …”

“But there must be. We had it before.”

“No, that was four years ago when BBM didn’t rule the world.”

Panic ensues.

“So how do I talk to my friends?”

“You don’t. You’re on holiday.”

There was more of the same, but you get the general idea. After a day or two of grumbling we found a compromise. There was an open WiFi network at a beach bar which was about 10 minutes walk away, so a couple of times a day the two of them slouched off, mobiles in hand, to get their fixes and to reassure their friends that they weren’t dead. But for the rest of the time they read and listened to music. And because the TV was terrible too, we ended up playing games in the evening – Whist, Rummy, and Scrabble. I even won one game.

It wasn’t only the children who were suffering – my Twitter habit had to be broken too, but because of a meltdown of my phone a month or so back I’d already been weaning myself off that.

We got through an enormous pile of books – my daughter read an average of a novel a day – and because we read more than expected, we read each other’s books too, plus some of the tomes which were lurking in the bookshelves of the house. When I gathered together all our books to come home they completely filled one of the cases, and every one of them had been read.

I asked my daughter if, on reflection, the lack of WiFi had been a good thing. She looked at me as if I had gone mad.

“No! How can you think that?”

“But you wouldn’t have read as much!”

She gave me a scathing look. “I’d have totally made that sacrifice.”

Ah well, at least I tried.

10 thoughts on “Disconnected

  1. This was exactly the same for us on holiday. I didn’t mind all that much compared to my sister. I can live without the internet… but I’d rather have it 🙂 I spent a lot of time thinking of story ideas and being inspired by pirate islands etc. I think that’s one of the best things about being on holiday. Loads of new sights, smells, sounds to inspire ideas!

  2. We went on holiday a while ago to a country where we really didn’t want them to know who we worked for – so we left our phones completely behind. It was wonderful!

  3. I was really proud to say I got through my last holiday with my family without logging onto Twitter! Or using any WiFi( I think I sneaked it once on the last day, but put it straight back down because I couldn’t get connection). But, that was over a year ago so, who knows what I would do now? But, I normally don’t use the internet or read while I’m away, as I prefer to be exploring my surroundings and when I would normally read, I end up being out watching the entertainment.

  4. Yeah well, guess I’d be a bit annoyed without wifi – but, no, I’d probably survive! I managed for about a week last year without it on holiday, so I’ll have to see if I can this year!! 😉

  5. Yes, I knew our children were growing up when the essential criteria for holiday destinations was no longer a swimming pool but ‘decent’ wi fi.

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