There are Days When I Want to Quit the Internet
It’s true that I have a love hate relationship with the internet. The old hippie in me insists that I need to just build a tiny house on my land in the Upper Peninsula and get lost in the woods. Then, there’s the thoroughly modern me that is endlessly fascinated with the unlimited connections the internet provides.
This isn’t the first time that I’ve longed for completely opposite lifestyles.
Sometimes, I want nothing more than to adopt a few dogs, withdraw from society, raise my gardens, and limit my contact with other humans to a very select few. All of that in deep contrast with my equally strong attraction to living the life of a nomad while seeing as much of the world as I can before I die.
Am I crazy or what?
I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember. I often say that I don’t want to live forever. I want to live multiple lives in order to experience all of the different lives I’m drawn to. I’m not talking about reincarnation where I have little to no memories of a former life. I’m afraid that I’d run the risk of living the same life over and over without even realizing it.
If I’m going to live the same life over and over, then I might as well live one life and try to mix it up as much as possible.
That’s what I’ve attempted to do actually. I grew up in a religious cult, left home and put myself through college in order to build a career, retired very early, and sold everything that I owned in order to travel the world. That’s three distinctly different lifestyles. The first one I didn’t get to choose, but hey, who gets to choose where they’re born or their parents?
Now, I’m teetering between growing old with a few dogs while withdrawing as much as possible from the world or establishing a new relationship with another country.
I’ve done that already with Spain where I’ve been wintering for seventeen years, but I’m gettng older and that long flight to Europe is beginning to wear on me. So, I’ve been looking north to Canada, Toronto to be specific. Americans are allowed to stay for up to 180 days every year in Canada. I live within a half days driving distance from the border. It’s a no brainer.
Of course, if I decide to split my time between Canada and the US, it’s probably not a great idea to get a few dogs. Hmmmm
See what it’s like to be me?
And, I haven’t told you about my longstanding desire to live in Greenwich Village as a writer or a persistent interest in living off grid. I am a writer and we did build our own house in Maine where we lived for many years at the end of a gravel road that turned into a logging trail running three miles through the woods beyond our house.
I’m a dreamer who usually ends up doing — something.
I have spent from weeks to months and even years in Mexico, Guatemala, the isle of Saba, Portugal, Malta, Germany, England, Ireland, Scotland and Spain. I’ve been in every state in the US except four and driven across Canada as far north as the Yukon.
I don’t just dream, eventually I do — something.
I’m not complaining. I’ve had a most unusual life. I look at people who have lived in one small region for their entire lives and rarely ventured beyond that and I’m perplexed. They seem so content with living the same day over and over. I can’t wrap my mind around it.
But then I hear their shared histories and I’m charmed.
I mean I have friends who are senior citizens that have known each other since kindergarten. They live three miles from the house where they were born. They have a street named after their dad. And, I wonder what that would be like.
But today, I want to quit the internet.
The good purpose it serves is being overshadowed by the anxiety it creates. Being this connected to everything, everywhere, at any time of the day or night at one time was a futuristic dream, but is now our reality. It’s as fascinating as it is addictive.
To add to my dilemma, I don’t really even like people all that much.
I know that sounds awful, but I’m an introvert and people absolutely exhaust me. I just completed a road trip up north. I pay a visit to my land in the Upper Peninsula twice a year. This time, I headed due north, following the shoreline of Lake Michigan. It was off season so I encountered very few tourists overall. Just lots of outstanding natural beauty and solitude.
I had two close encounters with humans, something other than making a gas stop or checking into a hotel, and both were unpleasant.
Humans tend to complicate things. I’ve long concluded that we create a lot of our own problems for ourselves and one another. One encounter involved a religious woman who wanted to introduce me to Jesus. The other was a meth head who wanted to hitch a ride to wherever. Both were unsettling although from the opposite ends of the spectrum. That’s when I want to take a lawn chair into the woods of my property and recover by listening to birds.
That’s also when I want to drop off grid and live without the internet. I’m old enough to remember what life was like before the internet.
But the next morning, I can easily wake up and stumble across an article, ironically on the internet, about a future Star Trek world and I’m like, wow, that sounds interesting.
It makes me want to stick around a tad longer to see what changes lie ahead.
I’m sorry. I know I’m rambling. This is what I woke up thinking about this morning. All the easily accessible contact with people all over the world is starting to exhaust me. So, today, I want to give up the internet. But not until after I plan a trip to Hamburg where my niece who is pursuing her PhD will be presenting a paper on AI.
Yeah, humans are contradictory creatures. I’ve never met one that wasn’t.
Teresa Roberts is a retired educator, author, world traveler, and professional myth buster. You can find her books on Amazon.