My 24 hour digital detox... on a rowing boat


Photos from our trip to Barcombe Mills, Rowing in Sussex

Hola amigos. Bit of a different post for me as a few weeks ago I was challenged by Insurance2go to do a whole 24 hours IPHONE AND MAC-LESS! Shock horror.

Yes. The newest campaign on the block is for us bloggers to retreat from all things digital. No facebook, no twitter, no texting, no calls and, wait for it, NO FLAPPY BIRD.

At first I thought it would be easy. I'm not usually glued to my iPhone, the odd text here and there, some flicks through twitter and posting to instagram, certainly not like other people who need their phone right beside their plate of chips in a restaurant, eyes darting when the screen lights up.

Or so I thought...

After trying - and epicly failing - at doing the digital detox whilst camping with the girls (it was hard even when in the wilderness without signal!) I managed about 12 hours and missed people at home so much that I wanted to know everything was ok so caved.

It beat me up pretty bad. I didn't want to be that kinda person, cradling their phone instead of soaking in the camping atmosphere, so I decided to give it another shot and challenged myself in a more 'routine' kinda day.

Neil and I visited Barcombe Mills, a sleepy town in Sussex and the 24 hours went a little bit like this...

Photos from our trip to Barcombe Mills, Rowing in Sussex

Photos from our trip to Barcombe Mills, Rowing in Sussex

Photos from our trip to Barcombe Mills, Rowing in Sussex


00:00am Fifi sound asleep dreaming of tartan blankets and blogging

08:00am Up at the crack of dawn I usually reach for my phone before I even say good morning, to check the time, twitter and emails. Instead I spent the morning making up a picnic for Neil & I's plans, doing some cleaning and flicking through some interior mags, making notes on all the period furniture I wanna buy for our new home.

12:00pm Neil & I hit the road for the postcard-picturesque town of Barcombe Mills. There's nothing better than doing a digital detox whilst lapping up the great outdoors. I found that I was much more engaged in conversation, chatting away to bar staff at the Anchor Inn, whereas usually I place an order of drinks and immediately look at my phone to tide over the awkward silences. 


Photos from our trip to Barcombe Mills, Rowing in Sussex

Photos from our trip to Barcombe Mills, Rowing in Sussex

Photos from our trip to Barcombe Mills, Rowing in Sussex


13:30pm After a nice hearty brew at the pub, we hired a rowing boat for a 'romantic' row down the river Ouse right beside The Anchor Inn. Sounds a lot more romantic than it actually was. I spent the whole time TERRIFIED of our boat capsizing clutching to my lifejacket, getting stuck in overhanging branches and screaming when dragonflies flew too close with nowhere to run. Still, at least I didn't have my phone with me to worry about if I had to unexpectedly dive into the river ;)


Photos from our trip to Barcombe Mills, Rowing in Sussex

Photos from our trip to Barcombe Mills, Rowing in Sussex

Photos from our trip to Barcombe Mills, Rowing in Sussex

Photos from our trip to Barcombe Mills, Rowing in Sussex


15:00pm All this boat action made me forget about my digital detox and after some belly aching laughter climbing out of the rowing boat, we took to the riverbank for a well deserved picnic. It was this point I started missing my phone. The picturesque scenery was just TOO instagram-able. But I stood firm and promised myself I'd share some of Neil's photos on instagram the next day. The world wasn't about to end! Hoorah!

Photos from our trip to Barcombe Mills, Rowing in Sussex

Photos from our trip to Barcombe Mills, Rowing in Sussex

Photos from our trip to Barcombe Mills, Rowing in Sussex

17:00pm On the drive home we took a de-tour to adventure around the local village. Not much to see bar some cute pubs we'll definitely be returning to for Sunday lunch, and sure enough, we found ourselves a little lost in the country roads. At this point I was wishing I brought my phone with me for emergency access to satnav. It's amazing how dependent and lost I felt without Google Maps in my life. Neil ended up having to pull in and navigate on his phone given his Chief Map Reader was out of action! Good job too, I'm the world's worst map reader.

20:30pm After some light din dins when we got back, we settled down for the eve. This usually cues me setting up The 4400 (a Netflix finest) on my Mac / Chromecast - but not tonight. No digital means no Netflix :( which is another part of modern technology I'm massively dependent on. Instead we watched Lord of The Rings on Blu Ray. Yep. We actually put a DVD into the playstation. And there was me thinking DVD's were extinct! It felt so good to watch a film in stunning quality besides it collecting dust in the cupboard.


Photos from our trip to Barcombe Mills, Rowing in Sussex


Photos from our trip to Barcombe Mills, Rowing in Sussex


23:00pm Similar to my first try at going phone/laptop free, it got to about 11pm and I suddenly got paranoid people have been trying to get in touch with me, that something serious has happened and I'm having a whale of a time none the wiser. This is what made me fail the previous try, so I talked myself round and fell asleep reading a book. 

Come the morning I was a happy lassy again, checking tweets, sharing photos of the day before and replying to emails. The detox was a real eye-opener for me. I thought I could easily go weeks without my mac and iphone, but I feel like my bad sense of direction and addiction to sharing photos on Instagram makes me totally dependent on it. Vive le apple!

How do you think you'd get on? Have you given it a go?

Disclaimer: I was approached by Insurance2go to do this challenge and as a thanks, was given a super cute Nexus 7 so I never have to go technology-less again! I was under no obligation to write or feature this and all thoughts are my own. 

Photos by Neil W. Shaw Photography (psst, he also does weddings!)