OFF THE RADAR

It’s June!

Wtf. I honestly cannot believe it. I can remember the day I arrived here in London four months ago. I leave next month people. Almost all of June I have accounted for. A trip to Bath, seeing Coldplay live, attending the Ascot Races, and celebrating Midsummer in Sweden. All of which I am anticipating at the highest level. But I also have knowledge of how quickly these moments will pass to become memories. Of which I am not prepared.

Recently, Crystal and I did some exploring in Shoreditch, one of London’s trendiest boroughs.

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I spent time in Shoreditch earlier this year when I strolled through the Brick Lane market. Although I caught glimpses of street art, I seriously missed out my first time around. The best part about admiring the artwork created in alleyways and garage doors was the fact that they were off the radar.

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You just can’t google maps ‘that one alley in Shoreditch with the rainbow graffiti and hundreds of artists’ other random graffiti surrounding it’. You just have to get out there in the hipster mayhem, take some left turns, and see where it leads.

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And that’s a benefit of being off the radar. Since I’ve been in London, I have had technology issues {to say the least}. Attempting to get my American phone unlocked, understanding a new phone plan here in the UK, using a brick phone aka ‘pay as you go’, having my iPhone’s battery swell etc. It hasn’t been a smooth ride. But when it is really with technology?

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Unsurprisingly, it has been the greatest gift.

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When I step outside my home here in London, I am fully off the radar. I have no access to data, my UK phone works sparingly, and my iPhone dies within minutes of being off of it’s charge. This has forced me to change my lifestyle a tad.  I take my ‘London A-Z’ with me and use it as a map around the city. When that fails, I go into hotels or restaurants to ask directions {talk about old school}. I cannot google search a ‘gluten free restaurant nearby’. Instead I do research before hand to find the best of the best or take a wander in whatever neighborhood I find myself in. This allows me to find hidden gems.

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This ‘new lifestyle’ may have limited my ability to easily navigate my way around London, but in return it has allowed me to change my life in more than one positive way. I read a book on the tube instead of listen to my Spotify playlist for the 740th time. When I am sitting with friends over a cuppa, I am fully engaged. I am no longer able to be distracted by my gadgets and the demands of social media. My photo quality is superb because I am forced to unpack my large high quality camera every time I want to snap a shot of something.

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As they say, sometimes you have to disconnect in order to connect.

It may sound dramatic, sure, but to me unplugging from the world changed my life. In today’s world technology runs our lives. Social media leaves us feeling unfulfilled in an attempt to make our lives as amazing as we portray them on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. We have access to unnecessary information about family and friends. And we are all victims to it. Myself included.

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But when I deleted ALL social media platforms two years ago, it was the most refreshing experience. I learned to live without. And I found myself actually living. Eventually, I started a new Instagram account. Because let’s be honest, I still love Instagram. And when I began my year long journey traveling the world earlier in February, I created a new Facebook account to keep in contact with family and friends. And I have this blog.

So yes, I am more connected to the world and my loved ones. And love it. And yes, I find myself wasting time on social media. And I hate it. So I live for the moments that I am living off the radar.

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It’s all about proportion and balance. I am inspired by fellow female travelers who post their discoveries on travel blogs. I am constantly gathering outfit ideas from the style accounts on Instagram. And I am an avid fan of the beauty community on YouTube.

But it’s nice to unplug and live a little. I highly, highly recommend it.

Signing off with a cuppa Emergen-C. Feeling a cold coming on. Boo. Hiss.

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