Monday, March 3, 2014

Off the grid

And other illusions or delusions

Malta, Malta, Malta, our mantra and hope for several years finally became
a reality last Wednesday. 

As the original goal had been to totally absent ourselves from our normal day to day life, my housemate didn’t even take a computer. I was not quite so brave delusion #1 – I need to be in touch and available all the time as well as illusion #1 I am important enough to need to be in touch and available at all times.

Our mantra “Malta” and the looking forward to a vacation where we would either “do it all”, or “do nothing” kept us going for many months through disaster (another illusion as well as a delusion: if one is still alive at the end of a “disaster” it is not truly one) after disaster.

Leaving did not start well with the illusion of a vacation falling apart almost before it happened when our plane could not leave for “technical” reasons. Four hours - and an aircraft flown in from another city - later we were on our way with one glitch in Rome where we were to change flights: no ongoing flight that day and, as it turned out, no luggage either. Talk about a “delusion”. But it did provide a silver lining in the form of a hotel room apiece in a decent hotel as well as a lovely two-course dinner that evening and full breakfast buffet the next morning.

Arrival in Malta was the beginning of being “off the grid” – a phrase, which originally meant not relying upon a city’s electricity, but has since broadened to include most ways of not relying on a public service or normal functions.
One that is used relatively frequently in social media as well.

I would check e-mails once a day, usually nicely ensconced in the hotel lobby (in the better hotels wifi is only free in the public areas… won’t even think about doing a blog on the whys of that particular quirk), answering only those from my housemate’s husband or daughter as well as my two sons.

Malta – to the contrary of many long-awaited positive experiences – did not deceive, but was even more than we had expected. No delusions, only an illusion of total pampering, peace and education.

Getting back “on the grid” is proving to be much more of a challenge!