Disclaimer – This is a sponsored post by Jekyll Island. All opinions are 100% my own.
Like every human being who is alive during this decade, it’s really REALLY hard to unplug. I mean….why would we even want to?! I mean…unplugging means that you can’t read reviews on a restaurant while stepping into it. Unplugging means no Netflix. Unplugging means no wi-fi. And no funny cat videos or celebrity blooper snaps or WHATEVER IS TRENDING RIGHT THIS VERY MOMENT.
As hard as that is, I decided that on our Jekyll Island getaway, I would unplug anytime the kids were awake and see what happened. I don’t know if you noticed but I didn’t blog that week….I did take some iPhone pics of our adventures and I grabbed my good camera a lot more….but for the most part, we didn’t watch tv or play video games or troll YouTube. We put away the internet and the voices of other people. And you know what? IT WAS AMAZING.
Instead of spending that extra time listening to other people….I listened to the crashing waves. Instead of looking at pretty house pictures, I actually spent time IN A PRETTY BEACH COTTAGE. Instead of laughing at cat videos, I laughed at EVERYTHING my kids did. It was euphoric and beautiful and exactly what I needed to recharge my emotional batteries. So why unplug? Because mentally, emotionally and physically….it’s worth it. And what makes it easier? Being in a place like Jekyll Island…where there are gorgeous moments and lots of other activities and comfortable places surrounding you….it makes unplugging really enjoyable. And if you don’t want to unplug…you aren’t completely off the grid either. I mean….I obviously still gotta post cute photos of my kids 🙂
Okay…so first things first….how does one unplug when it’s super easy to actually be plugged in? Here is my three-point recipe for success…
- Pick up a hobby – new or old – that you enjoy doing
- Go to a place that makes the internet seem boring
- Plan an activity that makes tv/computer stuff impossible
I will show you how we accomplished this three-point plan but first I need to answer a frequently asked question about where we stayed. Jekyll Island is not a huge resort/condo kinda vacation spot. The beaches are quiet and its vastly different than highly commercial spots. When we arrived, we were so pleasantly surprised by how amazing the Cottages at Jekyll were.
We figured that they were new and the area would probably similar to a construction site but NOPE. It’s done and beautiful and every detail is gorgeous. And the view? It’s incredible.
The kids even woke up early every morning to show us the view….
Our particular cottage was the perfect place to unplug because of the views and amenities. As a mom, it helps to know that a kitchen has clean dishes and is ready for you to serve your little ones.
One of the biggest perks of staying in a home vs a hotel is that the kids get so much space! We were able to stick to our normal nap routine and eating routine and it helped tremendously having a kitchen space. As you can imagine, taking four little ones ages 1, 3, 4 and 7 to a restaurant is stressful. You never want to disturb other dining vacationers so this made it really easy.
Unplugging also applied to the kids which is not a huge change from home but enough that they came up with fun games for all of us to play. This is LJ playing hide and seek. He’s still learning 🙂
This is him the entire time when he’s hiding….
But we all know that the ultimate place to get pure rest and relaxation is here….
Nothing beats the rhythm of the waves. It keeps beat to the moments you are soaking into your soul. Seriously…if you are looking to unplug, go to the ocean.
It’s kinda like the kids knew it was better than any movie too.
Will didn’t waste any time…he is just like Jeremy. They always run to the most beautiful spot and take it all in.
Will must have stood out there for an hour….at least….before even realizing there were other things to do.
He came back in after an especially big wave took him down. He told the story to each of us….his expression was more and more animated each time. I love that the small things are the things he loves. The huge wave. The salt taste. The biggest jump of his life.
Weston is my more focused one especially when it comes to repetitive tasks….he has always been the one that will play in the sand and build sand castle after sand castle.
It was really interesting to see Max….this is his first real trip to the beach where he was verbal enough to tell us what he loved. I am so glad I grabbed my camera because documenting this experience was priceless.
That is where my Unplugging Plan came into action. When we went to the beach, I really focused on one of my favorite unplugged hobbies….photography. No matter what you decide to do as your hobby, whether it be bird watching or shell collecting, its helpful to me to have a ‘task’ because when I’m bored, I always reach for work or for the internet.
Max loved any little treasure. Which of course I would have never noticed if I had my nose in a laptop 🙂
And each one of Weston’s sand castles needed little sprinkles of sand 🙂
Breaking out the good camera for the beach is of course risky but so worth it y’all. I stuck with my 50mm lens the whole time and honestly I have been really bad about taking it out recently. But on the beach, it became like an old friend that has the best conversations. It makes me realize how many moments I really do miss when I have my nose behind a tv or a computer.
Like the moment where the moat around the castle became alive….
Or the biggest bear hug from Daddy and the big boys ASKING to be in the photo.
Even this one that made me laugh so hard I snorted in public.
No cat video could beat this guys. Not even the one where the cat is inside the mayo jar.
Weston and I went on a scavenger hunt and this is particular great at Jekyll because the beaches are clean. That means the kids don’t think a dirty piece of trash is treasure 🙂
Maxi Knight showing me some loving!
And the boys catered to my every whim. I should definitely unplug more often 🙂
Will didn’t know how to feel about this one….
You could tell he was nervous at being at the mercy of two little brothers 🙂
And of course, another reason I love photography is that it can document things that you probably would forget…like how your growing bump almost blocked your toes from view.
If you are like me and want to do more photography instead of thinking about work….the best place to start is outside. The options are endless.
Or if you want to pick up a new hobby….birding is one that is great no matter how old you are. It sounds dumb…but honestly, we have dabbled in it for a bit and it’s such an easy hobby for all ages, all physical abilities and it requires limited equipment. No matter what hobby you pick to invest your time into, Jekyll Island has a lot of options….golf, history, art,….it makes it easy.
And yes, one of the things I do with photography is take pictures of random doors. It’s weird but I remember places based on the doors 🙂
After we went to the beach, we headed back to the cottage for lunch (we picked up Red Bug Motors Pizza) and naps.
After the kids took their power naps, we headed down to the second unplugged location….the POOL!
You know us. We are obsessed. And pools make it super difficult to be plugged in because of the whole water factor.
It’s so easy to devote time thinking about work and thinking about things that are on my to-do list….emails, social media, etc…..
I forced myself to sit by the waters edge and just enjoy the moment.
Weston got brave enough to walk around without touching the edge!!!! I was so excited to see him do this!
And of course my little water bug was all about splashing Daddy 🙂
That kid right there is fearless 🙂
I even got to notice the little things…like the fact the flowers were in bloom and the pavers were light colored and never burned my feet!
And yes, it absolutely helped that the water was cool enough to calm my swollen legs!
The boys felt just refreshed enough for us to do our big activity of the day….
Weston learned how to ride a big boy bike about a month ago and we were so excited that we could go on a family ride!
This was part three of my unplugged plan if you are following along….doing an activity where you can’t watch videos or tv or anything else!
The island has paths all over….by the beach, by golf courses, past historic homes, and they are super bike friendly!
We were able to ride to dinner and the boys thought it was so cool that we got to ride all over the island.
I mean…maybe I would exercise more if I lived on Jekyll…..not even kidding.
Later that night we headed down to our favorite spot – Driftwood Beach. We did a bunch of family photos and maternity pictures.
Can’t even handle how beautiful this is!
Or the faces that my kids make when posing….
or the actual poses that they do….
Apparently Max is taking up yoga 🙂
But the most priceless part is that I got to really ENJOY the moments….not just capture them. It was definitely a gift.
And when we headed back, the boys got to go to bed and I got to plug back in….because you know….we weren’t off the grid….we just were ALL IN.
I’d love to hear how you guys unplug….whether it be at home or on vacation. And do you need someone to take it away completely or just turn your phone on airplane mode? Do you have trouble putting away work? Or is it Facebook that haunts you? I know that for me….it’s totally tv and work. I could literally binge an entire season of shows in one weekend….it’s like an escape from dirty diapers….but when I’m finished, I always feel yucky….and completely unproductive.
But having that time in a beautiful place like Jekyll, where I could be unplugged as much or as little as I wanted, was the perfect break from the norm. I think I’ll definitely be reinstating the no tv or internet thing more often!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Jekyll Island Authority. The opinions and text are all mine.