Annelies and I had planned a last-minute four-day road trip through the Spanish Pyrenees to see what it would be like living there.
As we lost a lot of time in the airport (instructions on where to go in Charleroi Airport are terrible), we were caught queuing while we heard the last call for passengers to Santander Airport. You know it's not a good sign if they start calling out your name from the airport speakers.
In a last-minute rush to try and make the flight, we raced through the security checkpoint and managed to make it on the Boeing right before they closed the door.
With my heart racing at 140bpm, I found my seat trying to ignore the evil looks from the other passengers. As I had to put my luggage in the overhead compartment, I took out my headphones and checked my pockets for my phone.
Shit, where is my phone?
After checking with Annelies, I realised I didn't know where my phone was. While the stewards provided safety instructions, we dialed my number to check: 'Hello security?'
It turns out that I left the phone in one of the plastic trays at the security scan. Good luck convincing the security officer to move heaven and earth to try and get the phone on the plane. 😃
The first thing that raced through my mind was the Covid Safe app to go through customs in Spain. Luckily we had generated and printed the Spanish tourist document that included a step regarding what they call 'the health passport.'
The first 24 hours in Spain, I felt like a part of me was missing. So many small interactions where I would typically have taken out my phone: Reconnecting to the mobile network while being taxied to the gate, checking social media to pass the time in a queue, or just taking a picture.
Because of the lack of dopamine kicks, I noticed that I was a little moody the first night wondering what I would have missed while trying to convince myself that a holiday without a phone would be hard.
In the following days, I started to feel much calmer and less anxious. I realised it had been over ten years of being close to a mobile device in one way or another and I have developed some unhealthy habits.
After that, my mood just got better and better. Fair enough, that can also be explained by the beautiful landscapes or the fact that we had a long weekend only having to take care of ourselves for the first time in five years. :-)
Spending so much time together, I became annoyed by everyone else's phone usage. And even though Annelies has a much more healthy attitude towards her phone, I still find it noticeable how big of a role that phone plays in our daily lives: Voice/video calls with the kids, reading up about changes of rules around wearing masks at schools, or just browsing the web to find tips on what to visit or where to eat.
Even now on the flight where I write this, the guy to my left is playing on his Switch while the guy on the right is browsing/typing in WhatsApp, although we don't have internet service on the flight. The sad part: we didn't even say hello.
In half an hour, we're going to land in Charleroi Airport and I'm about to head to lost and found to retrieve my phone. I will try and keep it powered off for a few more days while I figure out what my world would look like without my phone.