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Autumn Leaves, Unplugging, and Living on a Pond Raft

Triumphantly staying on water for 24 hours in autumnal New Hampshire!

Triumphantly staying on water for 24 hours in autumnal New Hampshire!

As you saw in my recent fall foliage article, I was in the heart-stoppingly gorgeous middle-of-nowhere, New Hampshire for my birthday. Throughout the weekend, the theme of “unplugging” and “being cut off from civilization” recurred… in part because my husband‘s friend decided to live for 24 hours on a raft and boat.

There is Cory's raft-home on the pond!

See Cory’s raft-home on the pond?

Let us call this friend “Cory” to mask his identity. See that lake in the photo, above? See the raft forty feet from the shore with a boat tied to it? That’s where Cory lived and slept for over twenty-four hours. Yes, that is a BBQ grill on the raft. When you live on a pond for 24 hours, you must bring the essentials.

Boating in New Hampshire in a highly pensive manner.

Cory’s friends circled the raft in boats, bringing companionship and banter.

“Bring a sleeping bag when you drive up to New Hampshire,” Cory instructed my husband before the trip. “I reckon it’ll get drafty on the ol’ raft.” Hearing these words, I shivered. What if Cory rolled off the edge of the raft in the middle of the night? Imagine that freezing, watery wake-up!

Could YOU live on a raft in this lake for 24 hours?

Could YOU live on a raft in this lake for 24 hours?

Was this raft-home idea crazy? Not necessarily. As Cory waved at us from the heart of the pond, the White Mountains rippled their purple support. Clouds changed color and skimmed the lake. Rainbow autumn leaves cheered Cory on. What better place to watch it all than from the middle of a body of water?

My husband gazing out at the raft where his friend lived for 24 hours.

My husband gazing out at the raft where his friend lived for 24 hours.

Back on land, I actually felt just as stranded as Cory, if not more. You see, I have a seriously crazy Internet and blogging addiction, and three days in rural New Hampshire with no web (besides the spider kind, of which there were plenty) was like, WHOA. Just as Cory may have gazed longingly at land from his raft, I stared at my signal-less iPhone, craving.

What a beautiful fishing moment for autumn!

What a beautiful fishing moment for autumn!

The scenery was stunning, but I was in pain. What had I expected upon withdrawal from my constant level of Internet use? Some sort of white light of peace and happiness, I think. You see, articles about the “importance of unplugging” have swarmed the Internet lately, from the New York Times to USA Today.

Want to live out here on this New Hampshire pond?

My heart dances when I see the scenes in these photos. So pretty!

All of these “Unplugging is Important!” articles sing the same thing: Our brains are getting messed up and deprived from constant Internet use, and thus it’s essential we give ourselves time without the web to reboot and become one with the universe again. These articles imply that unplugging will make us feel better and more connected.

Heading back to shore.

Heading back to shore and to connectivity.

Frankly, I don’t buy it. Sure, it was nice to unplug for the first few hours, but after that I just wanted to get back to work and to widespread connecting. For me, Internet use is about love, friendship, and being in touch with amazing people around the world. As you can see from these photos, I appreciated the heck out of New Hampshire’s foliage… and I appreciate it one hundred times more now that I’m able to use the Internet to share the scenes with readers like you!

Are you happier on water or on land?

Are you happier on water or on land? Connected or cut off?

As the sun began to set on Sunday night, Cory checked his watch, hopped in his canoe, and set his toe on land, having triumphantly completed 24 hours on water. “Geez,” he marveled, “it’s weird to be standing without swaying from waves!” He made some swaggering statements about heading back out to the raft for 48 more hours, but we knew he couldn’t wait to get to the shower and real mattress. Similarly, you should have heard my squealing as our car headed home on the highway and my iPhone suddenly showed two, then three, then five bars of reception. “HELLO, WORLD!” I sighed passionately, and proceeded to dive into my 538 waiting emails like a lion tearing through juicy zebra meat.

Finally coming to shore. Was it a let-down??

Finally coming to shore. Would it be a let-down for you, or a delight?

So what is your take on all this, reader? How do YOU feel about physical “unplugging” and cyber “unplugging”? Do you find it helpful or painful? And most importantly: How long could YOU live on a raft in a New Hampshire pond? I eagerly await your responses… now that I am happily back online!

 

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Penny Sadler

Sunday 7th of July 2013

I adore unplugging and usually do (mostly) when I travel in Europe. After the first week, I check messages on my voice mail, but rarely get any calls these days anyway. I uplugged in Italy a couple of weeks ago, and can honestly say I didn't miss the connection at all. Great photos btw!

Lillie

Sunday 7th of July 2013

So impressive!

Tom - Active Backpacker

Thursday 8th of November 2012

Wow these are some GORGEOUS photos. I love photos from Autumn time - so many colours and so much vibrancy. Nice one!!

Lillie

Thursday 8th of November 2012

Thanks so much, Tom!

Reena @ Wanderplex

Tuesday 6th of November 2012

I like to unplug as much as I can when I vacation - even if it's just a weekend away. I typically find I need a full day or two away from a computer to unplug - just being away for a few hours isn't enough (I'll crave the internet the way you did). It's hard, but every now and then I try to have weekend days where I don't touch my computer other than in the morning to check my email.

Lillie

Tuesday 6th of November 2012

Ooo, useful, concrete strategy! Thanks for sharing it!

jibril

Friday 2nd of November 2012

stunning!

Lillie

Friday 2nd of November 2012

Thank you!

Christy

Friday 19th of October 2012

These photos are stunning!

Lillie

Friday 19th of October 2012

Big thanks!

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