I would not call myself a “traveler” nor would I classify it as a hobby. I do love to visit new places but I don’t want to “see the world.” I am blessed to live in a country that is expansive and filled with interesting cities, people, and history in their own right. Although all of this is within my reach, most of my travel within the United States has been strictly East Coast.

I have traveled to Europe. In 1999, at the age of 14,  I visited Paris and London. For my honeymoon in 2015, my husband and I took a tour of Ireland.  I’ve been to the Bahamas twice and Punta Cana. You could say that there are lots of places to check off on my list but one thing always struck me: there is a huge country just to the west of me and I want to see it!

One of the places on my list was California, but not the typical L.A., Hollywood, Beverly Hills visit. I wanted to see the Pacific Ocean and The Redwoods. After a few weeks, my husband booked and planned out our entire trip. We would fly into San Francisco, drive up the coast to Mendocino, down to Gualala and back home through San Fran Airport. 


As we drove up the winding coast, I would look at my phone – as one does out of habit – and noticed I had zero service. I should note that I do not have any social media apps on my phone except Twitter. That’s right: No Instagram, No Facebook, No Facebook messenger, no Snap Chat…nothing. So my checking my phone was not to check for push notifications but simply to see if I had any text messages or missed calls.

As usual, I had none.

And though I do not have apps on my phone, I will post photos or check Facebook through the web browser. So I would see a beautiful shot like the one above and think, “I need to share this!”

But I couldn’t. And I was OK with that.

My service was spotty at best throughout the 5 days and while I took photos on my phone, it was only because I wanted to capture the moment for myself. My husband had the “Big Boy” camera so I took way more shots on that than my phone.

This trip was last month and I feel ready to write about it and share it. The most remarkable experience was the Redwoods. I do not have photos of those to share now because, frankly, capturing them on a real camera is hard enough let alone of a itty-bitty phone camera. More importantly I didn’t want to. Being in those Redwoods made me feel powerful and powerless all at once. They are powerful, strong, natural structures that you have to see to believe and experience. To look up at a tree and not be able to see the top, knowing it has been there for hundreds and hundreds of years is quite humbling. I didn’t have a life-altering experience with these bad boys, but I realized that having zero service was the best unexpected gift the California coast gave me.


Far too often we spend most of our experiences with our phones in our hands and our eyes looking through a screen.  We never take the time to experience life through our eyes and take it as a moment that doesn’t need sharing immediately.  Our “followers” can and should wait. The best moments like the ones “captured” in California would not make the best Instagram shots that would gain me thousands of followers and sponsorships.



Like in the photo below when I visited Jessica Fletcher’s house. Happening upon this house was a complete accident. It was not until after the trip was booked that I learned the 80s-90s show Murder, She Wrote was filmed right where we were staying in Mendocino.

I couldn’t send this to anyone.  I couldn’t post it online. I couldn’t text it, email it, or Tweet it. It was MY moment. And while I am sharing it with you now, the “no service” has taught to give me pause. 

Pause before you think to jump on that app and share a photo of a delicious meal or a beautiful scene. Soak it in. Welcome it into your brain and your experience. Once you’ve done that…then, share away.


Since my first search in 2009 on “How to Curl Hair” I was catapulted into the “wonderful’ land of You Tube Oz where things are not always what they seem. Of course the hosts of these channels create an “image” where they too forget things are not what they seem. Countless videos are in circulation of explaining themselves, getting “real”, or rants about this and that.



photo credit: laughingsquid.com

The truth is, it’s all fake. I too tend to forget that those I subscribe to are putting their best face forward and present their idea of their version of perfection. Where it gets muddy is when you follow along with these personalities and your views get muddled with their ideals.

I’ve tried “fasting” from You Tube in the past. I made it 5 whole days. It’s hard to abstain because it’s one of my favorite pass times: watching people talk about their favorite this, their least favorite that, what they ate, how they workout, what do they do when they are tired, bloated, happy, and hungry. I get wrapped up in their lives they I forget that I have my own.

Now, I don’t watch videos all day every day, but sometimes I hop from video to video and before I know it an hour has gone by.

When something you enjoy becomes a borderline addiction, it’s time to make some changes. For me, these videos are having more of a negative side-effect rather than positive. I decided yesterday after getting sucked into nonsense to take 30 days off You Tube. The only thing I am allowed to use You Tube for is my workout play lists. Other than that: no videos whatsoever.

Now, if someone sends me a something to watch (generally random clips) I will watch those. I will not respond to them saying, “Sorry. I’m not watching You Tube for 30 days.” This is more about abstaining from watching my usual lifestyle videos.


So here is to day #1. I will update progress along the way. I will be honest: if I do break this “fast” I will start the 30 days all over, I will not make excuses, and I will post on here how each day or few days go.