For the summer of 2017, I found myself taking a job at Lander’s River Trips as their social media manager and living in Narrowsburg, NY. The first thing I noticed when entering the cozy hamlet of Narrowsburg was the fresh air and scenic river valley. However, the second thing I noticed were two frightening words up in the left hand corner of my phone that read –NO SERVICE. I immediately started to panic when the GPS went quiet and my connection with the outside world seemed to vanish.
I’m from Long Island, an overpopulated place right outside NYC. People are persistent about staying connected, which includes staying up to date on their followers latest Instagram’s, tweets, and Facebook profile pictures – not to mention group chats and Snapchats to keep tabs on their closets friends. Social media is the 2017 social scene and all hell breaks loose when people get disconnected, myself included. So you could see the dilemma I faced when I realized I would be living far away from my hometown with little connection to the people I left behind. Little did I know the lack of connection would connect me to to a world where I was more in tune with my surroundings and myself.
Stuck like me and faced with the anxiety of no reception for a few days, weeks or months? Here are a few tips on how to survive without service.
1.Take advantage of the outdoors (Get on the River)
Let’s think back to prehistoric times-okay maybe just ten to fifteen years back. What on earth did people do before cell service and social media? Well, they appreciated nature much more than most do today and found an endless amount of activities to do outside. You can too. You’re in such a beautiful area, take advantage of all that surrounds you. Join us at Lander’s for an unforgettable day on the river! Riding the rapids is by far one of the greatest adventures the outdoors has to offer.
2. Become familiar with a map
Good luck getting around by GPS with little to no cell service. To survive out here you’re going to need to invest in a map, I did. Take time to look it over and become familiar with your location and the places you want to go. Make sure you learn which way is north and which is south. Keep in mind the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, so as long as the sun’s out you should be good to go.
3. Get some exercise
Who likes running on a treadmill anyway? I know I don’t. Enjoy the beautiful scenery of the outdoors and go out for a run. If it’s the dead of summer, try waking up early or heading out in the evening for a cooler jog. After all, nobody wants to get heat stroke. Not a runner? Check out some local trails and go for a walk, hike, or bike ride.
4. Read a book
I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve heard someone say, “I haven’t read a book in-x-years.” I always loved reading as a child, but I began reading less throughout high school and the reading practically stopped in college. The reason being, other than the fact that I had so called “better things to do,” Netflix was my go-to after a long day of classes or work. Books are an easy alternative to television and, in my opinion, better than watching Netflix buffer for an eternity. Books are more detailed and allow for more imagination. They also expand your knowledge and vocabulary, who knew?
5. Keep a journal
Along with reading, writing is beneficial too. It’s good to keep a journal to keep track of your personal progress. Maybe you’ll discover your hidden calling to be an author or a journalist. More likely you’ll just flush out unnecessary anxieties floating around in your head. Keep in mind you can always crumple up your notes and set them on fire, unless you’re working on a computer-in that case you might just wanna delete the file.
6. Make friends with your neighbors and/or co workers
How about some human interaction? Spend time being friendly and getting to know your neighbors and co-workers. Invite one of them out for a run or over for a drink. It’s easier to have meaningful and interesting conversations without distractions from your tiny devices.
7. Search for Wi-Fi or Get a modem!
Okay, if I’m being realistic, every once in awhile we would like some Wi-Fi-or cell reception- and there is hope. If you’re just around for the weekend, hop in your car and head to the nearest Dunkin or anywhere that offers free Wi-Fi. If you’re like me, living in the area for the summer or extended time period, invest in a modem. It’s not that expensive and gives you Wi-Fi and a landline, if you wish.
Alright I’m guilty of purchasing one, how else do you think I posted this article! However, don’t go ahead and ignore all of the previous ideas. All things stated above can be done with or without Wi-Fi. And I won’t be the first to admit, it feels good to disconnect every once in awhile.