A Need to Disconnect: Pundaquit, Zambales Getaway

Disconnect. Everybody needs to do this sometime. Some need it more often. Ideally, if schedule and budget permits, I want to getaway at least four times a year, and this should not include company outings, offsite planning sessions or junket of any sort. Traditionally, one travels far places, go abroad or stay in the province to fully disconnect from the routines. Others may opt to do "staycations" in nearby places or just stay home. To each his own actually, what's important is to get the chance to detoxify our bodies, our minds, and give ourselves a break from the many chaos that we encounter everyday. Turn off your phones, don't fire up your PCs, be SNS-snob for a few days. It will do you a lot of good than you ever imagined. Just make sure to tell your family or close friends that you'll be gone for some time and where you plan to go. Just a precaution in case you're a daredevil like Aron Ralston. And if you're stuck in your ergo chair, still undecided if you should take a break, here's a few benefits that I hope will get you started.

1. Freeing up your mind is the simplest way to invite fresh ideas. You're collecting, digesting and producing ideas 24/7 from the day you were born. While it's impossible to shut down your brain activity unless you're dead, slowing down and not forcing yourself to consume and produce large amounts of data for a few days will be beneficial. You're the meanest machine created, but even God rested on the 7th day, and He wants us to do the same. When your mind is relaxed and calm, you create a space for creative juices to flow freely agin.

2. You will look and feel younger. Stress is one of the top causes of aging and a handful of illnesses. Good for you if you can keep stress at healthy levels everyday (Yoga can do wonders!) but disconnecting from the world once in a while to do pleasurable nothings will lower your stress levels and keep wrinkles and age spots at bay.

3. You will make lasting memories. Whether you decide to disconnect on your own, bring along a friend or your significant other, what I'm sure of is that rare times like such will create memories that will uplift you long after the vacation is over. I have a friend who takes Scuba lessons on weekends, and it's impossible not to see the glow in her face weeks after. Trust me, the feeling is stronger if you keep some bits to yourself and not parade everything online as it happens. Facebook can wait.

4. It will keep you grounded. Work and urban life can easily distort your perception of the world (yourself, your family, your job, money, you name it) and how you want to pilot your life. Seeing new places and being in new surroundings (and company) will help you see life in different angles and understand things better. I bought some souvenirs once from a very old man whom I ended up sharing merienda with while listening to stories about his life in Zamboanga. I felt ashamed being too materialistic many times before and reassessed my priorities afterwards.

Anyways, since I've been blabbing about disconnecting and taking a break, allow me to share with you some snaps from my recent getaway that left me refreshed, energized and more grounded. I stayed in Canoe Beach Resort in Pundaquit, Zambales with my cousin/friend and significant other. Nothing new or drastic (I'm saving surf school for La Union), and I indulged in the simple pleasures of poolside yoga, stargazing while sipping Kurant, home-cooked meals and lots and lots of genuine, belly-aching laughter. It's remarkable. 

Trying hard to keep it under a hundred at SCTEX

I love how rustic Canoe resort is! No Wifi, No TV! :)

Feels like home!

 Oh and just some tips when you do your getaway:
  • Live 100% offline. Plan your work well and front load any urgent deliverables so you don't have to check emails and bring your BlackBerry to the beach. "IPad party" isn't always fun. Enjoy the company of your friends and loved ones, and say adios to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for a few days.
  • Eat to your heart's content. This is not the time to follow a rigorous diet. I'm not suggesting gluttony, but don't deprive yourself from enjoying steamy rice and, prawns and adobo while sitting on a nipa hut.
  • Take time to pray. Look up, look far, and speak to God. Talk to Him without hesitation. Talk to Him like a child. See his greatness in the marvel of nature. Most importantly, ask and be ready to receive.
  • Breathe. Meditate. If praying is talking to God, meditating is more of listening to Him. Concentrate on your breathing, be comfortable with silence. Your heart will hear what your ears can't.

LOKAH SAMASTA SUKHINO BHAVANTU or I wish you happiness, peace and liberty! :)

From the Nook,