No wonder we yearn to go outside. No wonder we are even jealous of the mail man, or the garbage woman. Outside is where it happens. You know that. But there’s a place where even so much more happens, your phone. And all those worlds within it are so hard to resist.
There are a few popular inspirational quotes when it comes to the outdoors. ‘Wander where the wifi is low’, is one of them. The idea of not being connected sounds liberating. At first I thought we would be wandering without any form of mobile internet – only depend on wifi we’d come across. But we wouldn’t be looking it up, that’s for sure. Then we realised: how are we going to report on this life if you have no internet? So there came the Europe wide subscription.
It’s been the best. I couldn’t go without it. Looking up something is so deeply intertwined in the way I live, from a recipe to historical facts on the area we’re in. I wouldn’t want to miss that. Also, it’s we way we keep in touched with our loved ones – and get to know new friends as well. One way that sometimes happens is thanks to Instagram, when people who recognise us come say hi. Instagram in itself is also just very fun. I like making nice photos and sharing them, accompanied by nice texts. (Wait ‘til my analogue pictures get developed later this summer! I am so excited and cannot wait how they turn out. I don’t even remember the greater part of what I’ve shot in the last eight months.)
Google Maps is also fantastic. Doing groceries in places we don’t know costs enough time as it is, so to be able to look up where to go in an instant is nice. Same goes for laundromats to cafés to natural parks.
Internet makes you a lazy a-hole
The thing is, you tend to get a bit lazy. The other day, when we were parked in the tiny city centre of Grazalema, I noticed that on the map the tourist office had given us (where we went to ask what cafés had wifi, because we had trouble finding one and needed to do some hard core internet stuff – our mobile data amount is very limited) it said there was a public swimming pool not too far from where we were. We could sure use a shower after not having one for three days, so I immediately tried to look it up. Google helped me finding the name and the exact location, but it wouldn’t show the opening hours. Also, there was some information on the pool on the municipal website – but no mentioning of when it was open.
Spain is like that. I really had to get used to it, because in The Netherlands you can find anything online. Whether it’s the wine menu of the restaurant you’d like to go to, or the products that are on offer at your local eco store. Here, you are on your own. You really have to go out there and find out by yourself.
That annoyed me. How much trouble is it to put up those openings hours? Now I had to walk all the way up there (we are talking mountainous terrain) to see if the pool was open yes or not. It was a Sunday, so I doubted it, but who knew. I did and found out they were renovating the pool for the rest of the week. I laughed to myself. If the opening hours would have been put online, I would have stood there, with my bikini and all, for nothing.
There’s nothing wrong with relying on this little box a little less.