My daughter went on a wilderness trip to Canada this summer. She was out in the middle of nowhere, no cell phones, no computers – she wasn’t even allowed to bring a watch. It was just my daughter, the other campers, nature and God.
One leader had a satellite phone for emergencies in case someone got hurt, so they could be medevacked out. So basically, the only technology they had, was something they prayed they didn’t have to use.
You may wonder why I am writing about a world without technology in a technology newsletter. Watching this experience, I was actually struck to see the beauty of technology and nature colliding in an amazing way.
We received a list of what she needed for the trip and it was very specific. Required items were equipment such as her passport, a “dry sack”, hiking shoes, waterproof jacket, etc. All things designed specifically to help her survive this week and enjoy the experience of a lifetime!
As a mom, sending your 15-year-old up into the wilderness was both an exciting and nerve-wracking adventure. As she traipsed up to Canada the questions started happening here as her grandparents, friends and family all wanted to know if she was okay. “Did you hear from her yet, is she okay?”, “Did she text you?”, “Is she having fun?”
In a world where being able to reach someone quickly is taken for granted, it was a bit scary not to be able to answer anyone other than “I haven’t heard anything, but no news is good news!”
It took me a little while to realize the beauty of what was happening. My daughter was going on a trip in nature to get away from all the distractions of technology, but…
Without technology the adventure never would have happened.
- Without a car they wouldn’t have been able to drive 9 hours into a remote area of Canada.
- Without a machine used to create a “dry sack” her clothes would’ve gotten soaked in the canoe.
- Without a satellite phone and the ability to be medevacked out, the trip wouldn’t have happened (because no parents would’ve allowed the kids to go).
- Without a shoe factory to create her hiking shoes, her feet would’ve been destroyed.
For me, this is a great reminder of how technology can create an amazing balance in this world.
My daughter could have chosen to stay home in her airconditioned house, on a comfy couch or in her bed and watch NetFlix or Youtube videos all week. Instead she took a risk, challenged herself and spent a week in nature learning about herself, her friends and God.
But that trip was facilitated by having access to technology.
We tend to “villainize” technology for all the bad things or go the opposite route and get totally sucked into it and miss the important things in life. When we can find a balance of appreciating the good it has brought while always remembering the importance of “time away” from it, we become better all around.
I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences of the good you have found with technology. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts.