What would it be like to take a vacation without using your digital devices? What would change for you if you left your phone in your vacation rental when you left for the day? What kind of vacation would you have if you left your phone at home and got on the plane?!
You might be thinking, “What about emergencies?” “How will I let my loved ones know everything is okay?” Then there are the truly important issues such as, “Who has the best eggs Florentine?” or “How will I Google the best happy hour without my phone?”
Keeping a mobile device on hand during your vacation is not a bad idea when it comes to getting help during emergencies. Beyond emergencies, however, a whole other world awaits you when you set your device aside.
We thought we’d describe how the “impossible task” of leaving your devices behind at the vacation rental might be accomplished here at Clearwater Beach.
The first task is to break free of your device. Get ready to go for the day and then set your phone down. Back slowly away and then securely lock the door behind you. It is then time to rush away. Your subconscious mind will surely tell you that you have forgotten something important but don’t listen, it’s just your device playing tricks on you.
Once you hit the street, you are free. But what now? How do you decide which direction to go? Fortunately, Clearwater Beach is an easy place to figure out. It has one main road that runs from one end to the other. Chances are, your vacation rental is quite close to that road. As an added bonus, you will probably find everything you need within walking distance.
Still, the island has loads of things to do and without looking them up on your device, how will you find them? We recommend a curious practice from the past known as face to face communication with others. While we’ll being snarky with our delivery of this point, you may find that asking for help and engaging with others will brighten your day. Employees of restaurants and shops are always happy to help you find the things you need and they actually enjoy the opportunity to help someone. Further, when you ask them what their favorite meal or restaurant is, you can watch the eyes light up as they tell you, hoping that you will choose their favorite as your own.
Fellow tourists are also a willing source of info, although it’s wise to get a second opinion, since those new to the area can sometimes confuse directions or names. We recently helped some ladies who had combined the names of two hotels for a dining experience they were never going to find. We helped them out of course, steering them toward the right restaurant. If you combine the advice of more than one set of visitors, you might come up with some fun ideas.
The self-guided tour of Clearwater Beach is best done from its center, at Pier 60 Park. You’ll find the pier there, of course, plus a fair amount of activity. From the park, you can see most of the activities the beach has to offer. The beach is right there, with many of the carnival style slides and activities. The marina is across the street.
For the perfect unplugged vacation experience, a stroll up and down the marina will show you all the boat tours, watercraft rentals, and fishing charters. The boats are lined up close together with signs announcing what they deliver. It’s a lot like scrolling through search engine results except you don’t have to squint. Plus, when you interact with one of the merchants, they respond much more readily than a website and are accessible with flawless voice interaction that your device will be hard pressed to match.
Any time you feel you miss your phone, just re-imagine what you want to do. There’s a way you can get what you want by asking others around you. For the two centers of information on the beach, you can hit the Information Center hut at Pier 60 or search out the Chamber of Commerce building, which is not on the main road and is, admittedly, a little harder to find (429 Poinsettia Ave).
The rewards of spending time detached from digital devices cannot be overstated. Experiencing a top-notch vacation destination without distractions may give you a sense of relaxation you have not experienced in years. If giving up the tech is too much to ask for a whole vacation, choose at least one outing where you leave the tether to technology behind. You may discover that you’ve created some of your best vacation memories.
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