We live in an amazing world, full of new opportunities driven by technological advances. I am constantly asking myself what I ever did without everything saved digitally at my fingertips. I remember my first trip abroad as a college student studying in Germany for the summer. I took pictures with a disposable camera and used a paper map to navigate each city we explored – I sadly spent most of my time lost and ended up losing all of my photos. Now I travel the world full-time. I keep every detail of my itinerary on a cloud-based drive, I share photos through social networks, and I keep in touch with friends and family through video calls. What would I do without technology? I certainly wouldn’t be living and working as a digital nomad, making the globe the most incredible office imaginable.
Technology has certainly turned into my savoir, but also my demise! I think we can all relate. In today’s world we are constantly connected, and at times I think we forget what it’s like to be untethered from our laptops and our phones – to experience life outside the digital realm. Sometimes it’s hard to disconnect with so many distractions, but I think it’s imperative to do so. Disconnecting allows better appreciation of experiences in a more personal way. I would even go as far to say that it helps keep a level head, focusing on what matters in life… in the moment.
I read of a place – a hidden, Turkish gem – that was described as far off the beaten path. A secret cove, enclosed between towering cliffs along the coast. To add to this dreamy depiction, the name of this place is Butterfly Valley. Feeling a desperate need to escape from the hustle-bustle world (if only for a moment), we hiked far from civilization and climbed down the steep cliffs that enclose this paradisiacal cove.
We were told to leave our technology behind –it’s no good in the valley as there’s no service. Butterfly Valley provides the rare opportunity to disengage from everything. In this small community, you won’t see mobile phones or laptops – instead you’ll see people gathered around waterfalls or beside a beach bonfire, having meaningful conversations.
I’ve learned through years of travel, and a handful of unique experiences, that there are many different versions of paradise. Butterfly Valley is one of those extraordinary places that defines a new style of paradise – one that forces a full disconnect, leaving only a feeling of surreal serenity.
Butterfly Valley states that they ‘welcome free spirited and adventurous travelers to enjoy this unique paradise’. The management team has a goal of keeping the valley sacred, so it will live forever, providing a natural escape from the very real world.
Our visit to Butterfly Valley made me realize how essential it is to disconnect. No matter how important you think it may be to check your email daily, keep up with social media or respond to calls, life will go on without such interaction and, believe it or not, everything will be fine. Taking time to escape is something we should all do from time to time – whether this requires you to hike into the middle of nowhere or simply turn your phone off for the weekend. I encourage everyone to find their own version of paradise. Disconnect and rejuvenate… then you’ll really be ready to conquer the world!
Andrea is a travel professional who escaped the 'corporate world' to answer the call of her wanderlust. Having an intense passion for exploring new places and experiencing new cultures, Andrea is circling the globe with her husband, Bryan, seeking out unique events and unforgettable experiences. Though no immediate plans to settle, their long term goal is a 'more permanent' place of residence. Part of the trip's agenda is discovering where in the world that place might be. Andrea's travel blog, Best World Yet, provides firsthand recommendations and inspiration for adventure, as she and Bryan make the world their home. You can follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest.
Andrea is an adrenaline junkie and yogi, who enjoys hiking, paragliding and cliff-jumping as well as food, wine, art and dancing. She is especially passionate about helping others make the most of their travels, and founded Elite Travel Arrangements in January of 2015. ETA is a luxury agency planning customized trips from curated travel selections. With in-depth, firsthand experience, Andrea combines her enthusiasm and passion for travel with an insider's perspective; offering local recommendations and hidden gems to ETA clients.