A Little Update…Into Burma and Happily Out of Connectedness

map of southeast asia

A quick update today, in just a few short hours Ana and I hop on a super short plane ride into Burma. Which is also called Myanmar nearly interchangeably, so you can call it either…though if you want to be all official, the country’s government refers to itself as: Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

When it’s working, I’m told the government throttles the internet, which means I’m anticipating dial-up speed internet in the handful of towns where internet is even accessible. With that in mind, I have a few posts queued up with stories and photos from Laos, but I will be unable to respond to comments until I return the second week of February. Although I won’t actively blog from Burma, I will update the A Little Adrift Facebook page occasionally to not only share snippets of our adventures, but my parents are (understandably) cautious about the three weeks Ana and I are spending in the country, so I promised to check in once a week! :)

Can I let out a confession here?

I’m glad I won’t have internet access.

Besides the ten days I spent in Vipassana mediation in 2009 (and that was not for funsies by any stretch of the imagination), I truly have never taken a digital detox and stayed off the internet. Throughout the past three and a half years of travel, I was online almost daily, and at least three times a week.

It’s exhausting.

I feel like my creativity has been slowly sapped over the past few years of constant connectedness to everything. There are blog posts to write. Work. Facebook. Photo editing. More work. Twitter-Facebook-Google-Plus…

Distractedness abounds and I haven’t done well blocking out the noise, nor with self-control (confession number two, I have to use the Stay Focused extension for Chrome to block myself from Facebook!).

So, I’m going on a forced digital-diet and I’m happy for that!

And I get to focus three weeks on hanging out with Ana, and that’s pretty neat within itself. Although we have been together nearly every minute of every day for the past three months, we spent a lot of that time doing her schoolwork, or online doing my SEO work. Not much was spent hanging out and really having the time to talk about our travel experiences as they occur, without the worry of checking Facebook (creatively crafting a FB update that fits each and every moment) or posting a blog.

That being said, I’m sure I’ll go through withdrawal pangs for the first week! Have you done a digital break, and how did it go for you?

I’ll report back in a month with stories and photos from Burma, as well as my views on how the recent political changes are affecting the country on a local level.  :)

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7 Responses to A Little Update…Into Burma and Happily Out of Connectedness

  1. Cyrus Holiday February 9, 2012 at 8:07 am #


    very nice post.
    burma is a most beautifull country.



  2. Andi Perullo January 22, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    It’s tough at first, but then you feel SO good! Being connected 100% of time, which I’m so guilty of, really does distract you from being able to live presently. I felt amazing after I returned from a week in the Amazon. Enjoy Burma — I’m gying to go there!

  3. Chais Meyer January 22, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    Hey Shannon, I’m excited to hear how your trip is!

    To answer your question, Shawna and I took a media fast for 10 days (no internet for entertainment, no movies, tv, books, magazines, etc.). We forced ourselves to become entertained by/with each other. We did things like played cards, molded play-do into fictional creatures or just went on walks. It was a really great time for us, very hard in the beginning, but great after the 4 day adjustment period.

    Have a great time and tell Ana hello from Chais & Shawna!

  4. Janet-Lee January 21, 2012 at 7:15 am #

    ENJOY!! So funny that you posted this now…last week I was in an area without service for 2 days & LOVED it. I was able to focus & just enjoy the moment. I had a debate with my aunt about blogging & staying in touch vs. just being IN the moment… Still fighting with the right balance…  Have fun & soak it all in!

  5. Erin January 20, 2012 at 4:36 am #

    We had three days without laptops in Chiang Dao last week and it was wonderful! Looking forward to doing the same as you in Burma in a few months – can’t way to hear about your time there. 

  6. Anonymous January 19, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

    A neat experience! As I wrote on Ana’s blog, it will be very interesting to hear if you see any changes in how the country is run now that they are heading toward democracy, hopefully!

  7. Phil Paoletta January 19, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    Enjoy the disconnect, Shannon, and the trip in general. I just got back from my own internet sabbatical. It was only a week, but definitely feeling refreshed!!

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