MARIA GARCIA/Coachella Unincorporated
The life of a teenager revolves around the Internet.
So imagine how I felt when I went on a family trip for three weeks to a place without Internet — a small town in Michoacan, Mexico. At first, I didn’t think much of it. I only thought it would be a short trip, and I would be able to survive the time with what little amount of comfort I had away from home. I wasn’t exactly wrong, but I did start to think differently after the first few days. I was without connection to my friends, to everything I got so used to when I had the Internet nearby.
Instead of taking an airplane, my dad drove. And for almost two days I was in a car with no connection to anything; just the comfort of my family beside me. For the next three weeks, there were times when I didn’t know what to do. I had not been to Mexico in a few years, and I was unsure of what I could do. However, the answer was kind of right beside me, my family.
There were days when I was restless, not really knowing what to do. Some days, my parents talked a lot, and I started to get curious because they don’t often speak of the days when they were younger; unless we ask. I learned that my mom actually went through a somewhat hard time when my older sister was about to be born. She would have to work with my grandfather and take care of my older siblings because they were babies at the time. Although I knew there were troubles when my older sister was born, I never knew how hard my mom had to work to help provide for our family.
During the evenings, my mom, my older sisters and I would visit my grandparents. I actually found out more about what kind of jobs my grandfather had and the things that my grandmother used to make when they were younger. My grandfather used to work in orchards and in a factory, and my grandmother used to make quilts and clothes from different patches of cloth she would find. To many people it would be like an ordinary story time, but to me it felt more special than that. I even got to play a few card games with my grandfather, although I did end up losing more than a few times.
I found it was refreshing to go from the usually hot and dry weather from the Eastern Coachella Valley to clear blue skies with a moderate temperature in Mexico. It rained a few days, and there were times when fog covered nearby hills almost completely. In the Coachella Valley there are only a few days filled with light rain, so I enjoyed watching as the rain fell and covered everything. The town, although small, had many puddles afterwards and sometimes there were tiny rivers running down hill. Even in the mornings, there were fresh dewdrops on the grass nearby. It was different from the usual desert and heat. I noticed things that I would have never seen if I had my phone glued to my hand.
Without my phone, I didn’t get distracted. I was able to sit down without feeling anxious about my battery dying or about not replying to a text message. I even managed to finish a few books I had put away and hadn’t finished; although, I was devastated when I finished the books because I didn’t know what else to do. There were times I was tempted to go and just run around the house. However, I couldn’t just up and run with so many wild plants and tall grass around.
Now back in my regular daily life, I’m relieved. But there are days when I want to just go out for a few hours to take a walk and just enjoy my surroundings without the distraction of my phone. The Internet is a great distraction in my life, even if it is a great connection to people around the world a quick way to research. Being in Mexico without my phone for three weeks taught me to appreciate what I have, without needing Internet.