One Day Offline: Benefits Of A Digital Detox

Upstate New York
Visiting an Apple Farm in New York
Hudson, New York

Hello, my name is Matt. And I’m an addict. An Internet addict. The first step is admitting you have a problem right? The next step is seeking treatment…

If you’re addicted to the online world like I am, you’re in luck. I want to share this one weird trick that will help. It’s so simple, you’ll be shocked how you didn’t think of it before!

Just take one day offline & call me in the morning.

I know, it sounds pretty scary. I thought so too. We feel this need to share our lives every second of the day, and it’s just so easy with powerful smartphones in our pockets!

What happens when you get a Facebook message and can’t respond in 60 seconds? How will you handle missing all those Snapchat stories when they disappear forever, never to be seen again? Your life will surely be over!

Well I’m here to tell you that’s just not the case.

Upstate New York
He Doesn’t Look Amused…
Upstate New York
Farm Life

Living In The Moment

When Cathay Pacific Airways & Mashable invited me to upstate New York earlier this month to be their guinea pig for a radical new online addiction treatment, I reluctantly agreed.

You know you’ve hit rock bottom when the internet goes out, forcing you into the streets begging random strangers for their wifi passwords. “Just 5 minutes!” you plead, a look of desperation in your eyes.

But 5 minutes is never enough.

As a professional travel blogger, I pretty much live online. My job is to share amazing travel experiences with people. It’s easy to forget to take a break, and travel the way I used to. Just for myself.

My most memorable travel experiences are usually enjoyed offline anyway.

At this point I’d try anything to relax my online addiction, including jumping on a plane to NYC and squeezing into a bus full of fellow internet addicts from around the world.

The bus took us North into the country where we arrived at a specialized “treatment center” cleverly disguised as an apple farm. It was surrounded by thick forests decorated with red, orange, and yellow autumn hues.

The plan? Give up our cellphones & laptops for a full day. Disconnect from our online addictions and enjoy a new travel experience free from distractions.

A digital detox & internet intervention.

Upstate New York
More Fun Than Snapchat
Upstate New York
Let’s Press Some Cider!

Picking Apples & Making Cider

However there would be work involved too. We were sent into an organic, pesticide free orchard to pick as many apples as we could. I’m pretty sure I ate more apples than I picked! They were crispy, juicy, and delicious.

The horses nearby were jealous of our apples, so we gave them a bite too.

Next we loaded our haul onto the back of some pickup trucks and drove to a beautiful farmhouse overlooking the Hudson River, where we learned how to cold-press the apples into fresh cider.

Laying picnic blankets in the sun, we enjoyed the fruits of our labor and chatted with each other over lunch. There may have been some fishing, manure shoveling, bubble blowing, kickball, hiking, yoga, and hula hoops too.

I kept reaching for my non-existent phone to share everything with you online as it was happening, but alas, this just wasn’t possible. As the day wore on, my withdrawal symptoms subsided. I was shaking less and less.

This incredible new treatment was actually working!

Upstate New York
Evening At the Farm
Upstate New York
Swing Your Partner Do-Si-Do!

Disconnect To Reconnect

In the evening we gathered for dinner and country dancing to live music inside an old barn. Later we sat around a large bonfire, roasting s’mores outside under the stars.

Making new friends by engaging in actual conversation rather than typing away on our smartphones. We laughed, told stories, shared ideas, and focused on getting to know each other.

Spending #OneDayOffline at an apple farm in New York with this great group of people reminded me that I need to take digital sabbaticals more often. To put the electronics away for 24 hours, including my camera.

This experience taught me that I don’t need to be online ALL the time. My social media followers aren’t going anywhere if I take a break. The world won’t end if I fail to respond to email the same day.

Travel is more meaningful when you’re not constantly tethered to your smartphone.

It’s so important to disconnect from the online world from time to time. To recharge & reconnect with the world around us without distractions.

The next time you’re on vacation, remember to take one day offline and travel for yourself. You’ll return feeling refreshed, relaxed, and ready to take on the challenges of this epic adventure we call life.

Need some inspiration or ideas for planning your own digital detox?

Make sure to check out

Watch Video: One Day Offline

READ NEXT: Trekking Greenland’s Arctic Circle Trail

Are you addicted? How would you spend one day offline?

Cathay Pacific


Hi, I’m Matthew Karsten — I’ve been traveling around the world for the last 9 years as a blogger, photographer, and digital nomad. Adventure travel & photography are my passions. Let me inspire you to travel more with crazy stories, photography, and useful tips from my journey.
Matthew Karsten
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12 thoughts on “One Day Offline: Benefits Of A Digital Detox”

  1. One of the reasons I really enjoy backpacking deep into a wilderness is that I am forced to unplug. Often I come back to “civilization” and realize that the events that would’ve be the focus of my attention had I stayed home have now passed and are no longer “important.” It is much harder to do that when tethered to my devised 24/7.

  2. I recently reserved a room at a hostel that only had internet available via ethernet (no WiFi). That inspired me to lay down the tech for nearly three days. I felt totally rejuvenated and a strong sense of immersion with the locale. It was a lot of fun relying on some of the older methods of discovering new things.

    Matthew, how often do you find that ethernet is your only option to connect? (I don’t think many people expect this).

    • It happens occasionally, but most places have wifi these days. Or at least a local sim card with 3G for my phone that I can use as a wifi hotspot. I try to double check before booking a place to stay as it’s so important for my work these days.

  3. I’ve disconnected before and love the idea of doing awesome things you wouldn’t usually think of doing when offline.

    Taking a break from my smartphone is probably the hardest challenge for me, but if I ever get round to it, I normally enjoy it! What ties me to it is wanting to know what’s going on in the world all of the time.

  4. It’s crazy how connected we are but yet we are so disconnected from each other and nature. It definitely does not help when your job requires you to live online.

    I hope to get to a point where I am completely disconnected from technology. Waking up with the sun, going to bed with the sun and living a life that is online free… damn that sounds like a dream of an online junkie.. until then I will just have to wait for the next detox session!! :)

  5. I can definitely relate, and admit openly that I’m totally addicted to my iPhone!

    Though, I think it’s actually easier for me to disconnect when I’m traveling than when I’m at home. When I’m on the road, I’m much more likely to set my phone aside, let emails pile up, and focus more on the experience. (Though I’m certainly not perfect – a complete digital detox is something I probably need!)

    When I’m at home, it’s more difficult for me to stop working at night, close my laptop, and ignore my phone. It’s something I’m always struggling with!

      • I do sometimes used to feel that Phantom Vibrations. But after a series of digital detox I’m happy that I don’t feel that anymore. By the way great post :)

  6. “That digital detox was great, I should get online and tell everyone!” lol just kidding the internet is something I’ve been trying to slow down on myself. Maybe just one day without would help me out too.

    • Hahaha. Yeah, I quickly jumped back into my online addiction. But it’s nice to know I can stop when I want to. Really, I can stop at any time. Like right now if I felt like it.

      *checks snapchat*

  7. Sounds like a good plan!
    I keep telling myself I should do a digital detox at least once a year, but I’ve never done it yet. I should take it more seriously.

    • I think the key is baby steps Fernando. One day every few months is totally possible. Moving forward I’d actually like to aim for one day every month. It really feels great to disconnect!

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