I originally made this draft before I left for my trip to post when I got to my destination(s). I didn’t realize how bad the internet connection was going to be. I anticipated that we were mostly staying in remote locations, however, when we got to the major cities I was expecting some “free WiFi” at a Starbucks or McDonalds which I found out was somewhat foreign to them. No free WiFi??? For real!!! Ugh!!!
My initial intention was to try to stay away from my blog for a bit… so I have scheduled a lot of my posts for the time that I was going to be away. Good move! I intended to get on my blog whenever I got a chance just so I can finish some of the drafts I started and respond to some comments…I didn’t anticipate that it was going to be a challenge.
One of the reasons I have scheduled my posts is because I wanted to unplug from technology for a bit and have a deeper physical contact with the natural world during our vacation. I wanted to encourage my girls to do that by role modelling. I seriously wanted to spend quality time with them. I thought it won’t be too hard once we got to the “remote” islands. We’ll be island hopping so I figured that we won’t have a choice (even if we wanted to)… LOL
Once we got to the islands, it felt like we were in paradise… my girls and I were in awe. We have never seen anything this beautiful before. Well, I guess we somehow felt the same way when we went to Yosemite. But this one is different… it’s so relaxing… serene… it was a little overwhelming at first. We had to take it in… After seeing these islands, we didn’t want to leave.
As much as I have decided to unplug, I couldn’t stop taking photos and a lot of them were family and solo selfies (I bought a new action camera and brought my mobile phone and definitely put them to good use.) I wanted to make sure that I made enough photographic memories with my family… however, I was always mindful of a need for balance. I didn’t spend the entire time chasing pictures… I didn’t want to miss the most important part of this trip… the captivating views of the mountains, the delicious scents of the native flowers and fresh organic food; the relaxing sound of the ocean, the symphonic chirping of the birds; the skin tingling sensations of our exciting activities, among other things.
According to brain researchers, positive experiences like these may be beneficial to our long-term well-being. The effect of these real memories on our brain triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure, which positively affects our mental health and augment long-term memories. With that knowledge in mind, I recognize how I might limit my chances of strengthening positive memories whenever I focus on other objectives, such as the perfect photo. In turn, I enhance that same opportunity when I focus on those experiences as I authentically engage with them.
My dad, and sometimes the girls, would complain while I’d be taking photos. They thought I was missing out but I wanted to make sure that I have captured these moments because once we got back home I felt that they might forget some of these experiences… I wanted all of us to be able to look back years after and have these photos jog our memories of the awesome adventure we had as a family.
I am full of gratitude to God for all his blessings… for a great adventure… quality time with family… and for keeping us safe.
LIVE LAUGH … BELLE PAPILLON
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