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Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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6 Things I Learned From a Week Without WiFi

I was on vacation last week, and it was glorious. Sun, sand, a picturesque lake with hardly any of that weird gelatinous seaweed that looks like green spider egg sacks. What more could you want?

Oh, well, besides WiFi connection, of course.

That’s right, I went out into The Nature, where there wasn’t a single Internet to be found. For a writer of online things and general Internet junkie like me, it wasn’t an easy transition. I started getting twitchy about five minutes after our arrival, but I’m almost completely recovered now that we’ve been home a few days, thankyouverymuch for asking.

I decided, since I didn’t have any other choice, to use my technological deprivation as a learning experience, by which I mean blog fodder. So, to distract myself from the withdrawal shakes, I composed a list of things that I learned from spending a week away from the Internet.

week without wifi

  1. Words can come out of people’s face holes, not just their keyboards. (My husband acted like I should've already known this.)
  2. Laptops actually do things that don’t require a WiFi connection. One of those things is called a “word processor,” which (for those of you who don’t know) is basically a blog that no one can read unless they’re looking at your laptop.
  3. I can only type about four words before I need an online thesaurus. I almost had to use a thesaurus made out of paper (?!?) but then I realized I couldn’t remember how to find a bookstore without looking it up on the Internet.
  4. “Friendly” debates last a lot longer when you can’t settle them with a quick, “Fine then, I’ll Google it.”
  5. My family isn’t nearly as interested in hearing me gripe about the lack of Internet as my Internet friends would have been - if only I’d had an Internet connection so I could gripe to them.
  6. The world didn’t come to an end just because I couldn’t get on the Internet. Or if it did, I sure didn’t hear about it BECAUSE I COULDN’T GET ON THE INTERNET.
As you can tell, I learned a lot of really important stuff, and as a result I sincerely hope I never have to experience that amount of Internet-less learning ever again. However, disengaging my face from the computer did allow me to do stuff other than Facebook about my vacation while I was on vacation. To find out how we spent our time, stop by In The Powder Room - I’m giving my best tips on how to maximize your family vacation dollar and really relax - to the extreeeeeeeeme!*

*Never mind, DON'T click over to read it - it's reprinted right here, with permission from ITPR!


As I type this, certain family members are glaring at me because I’m “working” (if you can call this work) while we’re supposed to be exclusively focused on hard-core vacationing.

Few families vacation with the same single-minded determination as my crew. Even my 8-year-old daughter came bounding downstairs on the first morning, a full itinerary for the day written out on Hello Kitty note paper. Her pen poised over the checkboxes, she was eager to hurry up and complete all the Vacation Fun she’d assigned to herself.

To give you some idea of how seriously we take our relaxation, my mom just made me pose for a photo with my laptop so she can scrapbook about how I’m breaking our cardinal vacation rule: You must relax at all times, NO MATTER WHAT.

It isn’t good enough for us to just have Vacation Fun, either - we have to ensure we reach our full potential by doubling or, if possible, tripling the Vacation Fun packed into every moment. If you’re ready to really apply yourself and get the maximum value for your vacation dollar, here are a few ideas we’ve tried.


  • Eat cookies-n-cream PopTarts for breakfast, while blowing bubbles.
  • Sit on the dock. Simultaneously feed the fish and give yourself a hot pink manicure.
  • Wade into the water at 7:00 am, before the sun even hits the beach, wrapped in a towel because your torso is freezing. Carry a net, just in case a dragonfly or duck flies close enough for you to catch it.
  • Pretend to lead the kids on a scavenger hunt while you actually hunt for a spot with cell coverage.
  • Take the pedal boat for a spin. Enjoy an impromptu emergency swimming drill when the pedal boat sinks. Bonus points if you avoid getting lake water in your beer.
  • Rinse the sand off your feet in the same bucket your sister is using as a Barbie hot tub.
  • Have a picnic for lunch, including every vacation food you brought - watermelon, spray cheese, popsicles, and fried chicken are a good start. Eat in a fun location, like on a large raft. When you get to the middle of the lake, try to determine who was supposed to remember to bring the drinks.
  • Sleep in your swimsuit and goggles.


So there you have it - a small sampling of the activities required if you truly intend to vacation your ass off. I strongly suggest setting a family goal to try and out-vacation yourselves every year. You’ll be so proud of all the fun you’ve accomplished when you get home and collapse from exhaustion!

I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here - and I hope you come back! Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing!


15 comments:

  1. I don't know how you managed to survive! I would have been in my car and down the street (even if it was an hour away) to the nearest wifi spot! ;0) I actually enjoy forcing myself away from the world-wide-web on occasion. But only for a day or two!

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  2. I have to admit that even though I don't have a smart phone or iPad or anything other than a laptop, not being connected at various points throughout the day makes me twitchy. It's not that I'm worried about missing out on anything (although I kind of am) but rather that I hate having to catch up on things when I finally get back online--personally and professionally. My point? BIG HUGE green spider egg sacks to you, my friend. Big sacks ;)



    Plus, well, I hate camping.

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  3. It was tough to take, for sure! I was able to sneak away for a little while (thank you, McDonald's, for the free wifi!) but only because I "had" to, for "work." Otherwise, I feel sure it wouldn't have been tolerated by the family, and I would've completely lost my ever-lovin' mind.

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  4. HA! I'll admit, I actually shed real stress tears when I got just enough signal on Thursday to see that I had 734 unread emails. Gah! This is why I almost never skipped school back in the day - too nerdy, and also too lazy to play catch-up.

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  5. Last summer I had a weekend where there was no internet. At first, I was thinking "Oh no laptop? I'll be fine. I still have my cell phone!" but then we got there and...there was no cell service! It was awful. I kept inventing reasons to go into town to the walmart just so I could check twitter on my phone.

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  6. Christian at PCPPPAugust 14, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    That's funny you should mention this. Well, not so much funny "ha ha" but more funny "I'm about to tell you a story about myself".


    This morning I got a survey from a campground the family and I stayed at a few weeks ago. On it they asked to rate a list of features you would like to see improved upon at the campground ranging from "Not interested" to "Very interested". Towards the end of the list there was "add free wifi to all the campsites". I practically did a spit take and thought "What the hell? Are you serious? We've really gotten to the point that we need wifi while camping?"


    Of course after thinking about for 10 seconds I quickly changed all my previous ratings to "Not interested" and set free wifi to "Very interested". Screw more hiking tails and better safety.

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  7. SocialButterflyMomAugust 15, 2013 at 7:48 AM

    Internet was so painfully slow on my vacation that I almost tossed my laptop into the lake. I didn't want to electrocute any fish, though, so I restrained myself.

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  8. Finally, Walmart serves a purpose!!! (Just kidding, Walmart - you know I secretly love you. And your proximity to wifi.)

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  9. I'm so glad to see you got your priorities straight! How else are Amer'ca's families going to convince their teenagers to join them on vacation? Or me, for that matter?

    Also, "funny 'I'm about to tell you a story about myself'" is my new favorite category of funny.

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  10. The environment thanks you, my friend. Especially the fish part of the environment.

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  11. I would die without wifi. Literally die. Literally.

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  12. HAHA! it's amazing how addicted we are to computers. I think we'd all be very dysfunctional at this point without them. This is probably not a good thing.

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  13. This is one case where the word "literally" might *seem* misused, but I believe you 100%. I almost didn't make it.

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  14. Seriously. On Pinterest I saw an ad for a thing that sits on the floor like a lamp, but it bends over to hang in front of your face with your iPad clipped to it - the photo was right next to a screenshot from the movie Wall-E, where those people just sit in their hover chairs with a screen right in front of their faces. Almost identical... AND SO IT BEGINS!

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  15. Hmmm I don't know. I'm I think it's pretty accurate. ;)

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