Skip to content

A trip to Strasbourg, France

A Visit To The Past

We live digital. Phones, tablets, computers are everywhere. You are lost? Open Maps on your phone and you know your way around within seconds. Uploading documents so they are available for everyone. Checking Instagram and Facebook before going to sleep, only to stay up for the latest YouTube Video. You spend hours scrolling through the latest posts only to ask yourself “Why does time fly by so fast?” Texting Good Night instead of saying it, because it’s so much more convenient than actually talking to each other. When was the last time you left your phone at home? When was the last time you had a conversation without looking at your phone every once in a while? Everything is rushed, everyone is stressed. Everyone is constantly online and connected. Let’s unplug.

I will take you on a journey to the past. A weekend without electronics. No phone, no tablet, no computer, nothing that could be connected to the internet. And we will go on a trip. 500 kilometers with paper maps, no electronics, and great conversations. Let’s begin.

We decided to meet at 9 am the next morning so we would have enough time to drive across the border, from Germany to France. I set my old alarm clock, just to be sure I am not waking up too late. I pressed the power button of my phone a little longer and turned it off completely. I shut down my computer as well. I am disconnected.

I started reading a book I brought with me on my holiday. It didn’t take long until I finished the last bit of it. Normally, I would listen to a podcast or let a YouTube Video play in the background. I would edit photos or text with friends that would love to meet while I am in Germany. But everything around me was quiet. And I liked it.
I decided to go for walk around the neighbourhood. No music in my hears, just the sound of the wind rushing through the trees. I came back when it started to get dark.
I made dinner with my parents and we decided to play some board games together as well. Not once did I feel the need to check my phone. I was almost relieved to not have it around me. No pressure to answer the messages I received weeks ago, sometimes it gets overwhelming. I was enjoying the moments, the laughing, the story telling without posting about it. Great times still happen, even if we don’t capture them with phones or online posts.

I went to sleep after double checking the alarm. I already packed by bag. Drinks, snacks, money, a map. No phone or charger. I was already missing my camera. But a trip to the past wouldn’t be as authentic with a digital camera as it would be with an analogue camera. So I packed my vintage camera instead, loaded new film as well. I was ready for the next adventure.

There was no double checking if we really meet at 9 am, we just trusted that we both would be there at the right time. No quick changes in time or location, we just knew we had to be there because there was no way of contacting the other person on time. I was there, and so was my friend. We took his car because I didn’t have my car with me. He knew the way, he knew what exit to take from the highway and where to park. It was a lot more of “reading the signs” than actually knowing the way by heart. We arrived, safe and sound.
We got day tickets for the tram and orientated ourselves on the maps and timetables at the tram stations. It didn’t take long until I had to unpack my camera to capture the beautiful buildings along the river.

This time, I wasn’t on a photography trip. I was on a trip where I happened to take photos. And that made a difference for me. We found our way around in the city center and I bought myself some postcards for my collection. We discovered a farmer’s market where they sold fresh vegetables, meat, cheese, and French delicatessens. We sat down in a little café and enjoyed a hot cup of coffee, freshly brewed. It was fairly warm, considering that it was the beginning of January. We met one of my friend’s friends for lunch and none of us posted it online or took a photo of it. None of us checked the phone mid conversation. I felt like we were all living in the moment, with the focus on all the stories we told each other, without any distractions.

We continued our trip to the European Parliament where they didn’t accept my ID card as proof of identification, but my driver’s license worked just fine in the end. It was such an impressive and beautiful building, from the inside. And I am glad this was part of our trip.

It started to get dark early and after walking around the city for the whole day, we decided it was time for us to leave and head back. And so we did. No GPS, no traffic information. It was just us, the road, and a car filled with laughter instead of music.

And I decided to stay disconnected for longer than just a weekend.

Back To Top
error: Content is protected