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48 days without technology - could you do it?

A few weeks ago at about 4:30 on a Wednesday afternoon, as I was preparing to leave the office after a relatively slow news day, a call came in about a group of Metis travelers spotted just outside of Macoun.

A few weeks ago at about 4:30 on a Wednesday afternoon, as I was preparing to leave the office after a relatively slow news day, a call came in about a group of Metis travelers spotted just outside of Macoun.Normally, this type of call would get transferred over to one of the editors, but on this particular day, I was the only reporter in the office.At first, I really wasn't all that happy about receiving the call because, as I mentioned earlier, I had my mind made up that it was home time.But I gritted my teeth and decided that it would be best if I travel out to Macoun to see what all the hoopla was about. At the very least it would make for a nice picture, or short little story.The story itself turned out all right - not my worst, but also not my best. The sheer spontaneity of the whole situation might have something to do with its qualtiy (I wasn't able to grab my recorder fast enough, and thus my notes, like they usually are, were somewhat of a jumbled mess when all was said and done, and I didn't have any direct quotes, nor was I certain about all of the information they had given me), and on top of this, I spent far less time with them than I probably should have - but y'know, I was kind of itching to get home after a long day, after all.However, that is all beside the point and something that I will nevertheless have to learn from when I am in similar situations in the future.My story is not what this blog post is about though. This post is about those travelers and the crazy idea that, in this day-and-age, anyone would attempt to leave the house for a couple hours, let alone several weeks, without any access to technology. This is the epitome of traveling the "old fashioned way."As I was about to leave, I was asked how the travelers might be able to get a copy of the newspaper to read their story. I followed this with a very stupid question: "Maybe I could email it to you? Or send a copy of the paper through the mail, and have it reach you in St. Victor?""We don't exactly have a fixed address," one of the gentlemen laughed.DUH!And that got me thinking...Well, the first thing that ran through my head was, So, how do they charge their cellphones?But no, the first actual intelligent thought was, how did we become so attached to technology that I even had to ask these questions in the first place?And before I go any further, let me remind you that these travelers weren't just a bunch of computer-iliterate old folks who were never attached to technology in the first place. There were teenagers on this expedition! Kids younger than me, who probably have never known a time when there were no cellphones or internet.What do they do when they're bored and want to check their Facebook!?How do they know what their friends are up to!!?They're missing months of TV shows!Personally, I don't know if I could do it. I could probably go a week without any form of technology - I've done it before. But these adventurers were spending the WHOLE summer being pulled by horses. No plugins, or ethernet cables, or satellite television.If all went according to plan, the group of 14 would've arrived in St. Victor a couple of days ago - about six weeks after their departure.I wonder what the first thing they did was... Checked their emails? Updated their Facebook statuses? Or maybe, like they did for the whole trip, they simply spent time with each other; took enjoyment from the people around them, from nature; maybe they actually had conversations with spoken words, and when they were entertained they laughed, instead of typing "LOL!"Perhaps I will never know what life is like for those young travelers, now that their journey is done. I told them to roll through Estevan on their way back to their homes in Manitoba to pick up a copy of the paper. If they do, I'd like to sit down and have another chat with them, a longer one, and I'd ask them all these questions and more. And if I never do see or hear from them again, I'd just like them to know that I commend them for what they did.Here's to traveling 800 kilometers and taking 48 days to do it.Here's to spending evenings with friends and relatives, young and old, without a TV to fill gaps in the conversation, or the beeps and blings of cellphones providing constant interruption.I think we should all spend a little bit - or long periods - of time away from technology to, errrr recharge our batteries - no, that's a bad way of putting it - to reconnect with each other. At the very least we'd have longer attention spans, and would be able to find more creative ways of entertaining ourselves than just turning on a TV or signing into our computers.For now on, when you go home from work, read a book, strum a guitar, walk around the neighbourhood, greet people you pass on the street, play football in the park, go out with friends, anything that requires little to no electricity to partake in.After meeting these travelers on their journey, I certainly am making more of a conscious decision to take pleasure in the simple things, and I think everyone should.Last of all, does the fact that I've made this argument in a blog post render my opinion obsolete, hypocritical even?Join the conversation! Let me know what you think!

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