Friday 7 October 2011

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Unplugged? Unlikely!

It's funny, but even though I'm a complete electronic junkie, one of my favorite days each month is when my print copy of Travel & Leisure arrives in my mailbox.  Almost everything else I prefer to read online, but there's something about flipping through the pages of this magazine that really makes my heart soar.  I guess it could be all the great articles about places that we haven't been yet, but I can honestly say that it's probably the only thing I read cover to cover on a regular basis.  A lot of my other magazines I just subscribe to for the pictures.

This month's Travel & Leisure has an article on The Future of Travel.  In it, they ask a bunch of futurists to predict the direction of the travel industry (I'm not exactly sure what "futurists" are, but they sound important.)  They come up with a few interesting ideas like shapeshifting furniture in hotel rooms or the 200,000 mile high club, but the one that really caught my eye was called "Resorts, Unplugged".  The theory behind it is that the ultimate getaway of the future will be getting to turn everything off and just relax.  No TV.  No phones.  No internet.

Sun Mountain Lodge, Winthrop Washington
No thanks.  I've actually tried this once before.  A long time ago (before we had kids, so I actually still have clear memories of it) we went to Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop, Washington.  It was billed as a kind of "Get away from it all" place, and sure enough it wasn't near anything.  Seriously, we're in Washington state and I don't think I saw a Starbucks within 50 miles of the place.  Still, I suppose that's the idea for a hideaway, but I remember spending the first 20 minutes in my room enjoying the quiet and then going down to the lounge to watch some boxing.  Apparently I don't need a weekend away from my electronics to unwind, a half hour will cover it.

If this is how hotels are going to be though (and it must be, because a futurist said so) I can foresee a few problems for our family.  For instance, what do you do to pass the time with no internet?  The website for Sun Mountain Lodge (which I see now offers wireless internet...nice timing!) suggests horseback riding or hiking.  My girls would probably be up for the horses, but I'm trying to imagine how I would get my family on board for a hike.  I suppose I could tell them that there's 4G at the top of the mountain.  If you ever see a picture of a family of five at the top of a mountain setting up laptops, you'll know that this plan worked.

Our usual traveling scenario, 3 kids, 3 laptops
I'm sure we could spend a lot of our time at the pool.  All of my kids love swimming, so that could kill off some time.  I'm thinking maybe 10 hours a day?  If I let them sleep until noon like most teenagers then that should only leave about 2 hours a day I have to fill.  The girls could probably go horseback riding.  The boy...well I'm not too sure, but it would probably to him some good to discover that you can still play baseball, even when the batteries in the Wii remote are dead.

There's got to be a market for these kind of resorts.  Burnt out CEO's with thousands of people trying to contact them at every minute of the day would probably appreciate the electronic blackout.  I'm not sure how they're supposed to relax though.  I can't go 15 minutes on Sunday without checking in on my Fantasy Football teams, and I play in a free league.  Having billions of dollars and thousands of people's livelihoods on my shoulders would be far too much of a burden to carry on a mountain hike, no matter how good the reception is up there.  I guess if it works for them that's great.  I'm going to spend my time trying to talk my wife in to the 200,000 mile high club.


  1. I can't decide if going unplugged like that would be a good thing or a bad thing for us. It would be nice not to bring our work with us.... but we sort of fall to pieces when we don't have internet. Maybe for two days we could do it? More than that and we'd be goners!

  2. Amen! With the internet now allowed, Sun Mountain Lodge would be nice, but the kind of resorts they're talking about in the magazine will be complete blackout resorts with no internet or broadcast signals allowed. That would make them a definite no go for us.

  3. Ha! I would be completely fine with being unplugged except for the internet. I love not having a phone or blaring televisions.

    If I set my mind to it, I can use my laptop appropriately (meaning not like an addict looking for my next fix) on that type of vacation.

  4. @Stephanie - You're a far braver person than I, but if I told you there was no ice cream and a very small wine collection, would you still be interested? :)

  5. I guess it could be all the great articles about places that we haven't been yet, but I can honestly say that it's probably the only thing I read cover to cover on a regular basis.

  6. Thanks for sharing this experience you've got. about

  7. Howdy! I could have sworn I've visited this site before but after browsing through many of the articles I realized it's new to me. Regardless, I'm definitely happy I discovered it and I'll be bookmarking it and checking back often!

  8. I also want to be unplugged in any ways possible if we're on a travel. I want to savor and truly enjoy the moment and not only be there to be focused on taking pics all the time.
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