30th August 2011 | James Cove, Innsbruck airport
Is it possible to have a holiday today without a laptop, i-pod, smart phone, games console, TV or any other modern electronic device. To be out of contact with the outside world. Do we even want to be? PlanetSKI reports from the Austrian Alps.
For many people it may sound ideal to have no phone and email access on holiday. Not to have to keep checking for that vitally important email that may be about to come but never quite materialises; to miss out on what is happening back in the office and have no real concern anyway.
The number of people that go on line to check emails, get on social networking sites and work, even while on holiday, is staggeringly high as we mentioned in this earlier story on PlanetSKI.
No figures for this summer are yet out but last year it was 94% of us apparently.
Now I am about to join the shrinking minority.
However I am feeling worried; perhaps even frightened.
I am off to Obergurgl high up in the Austrian Alps for a few days and though all the modern communication devices are there I have decided that myself and my 12-year old son, Max, are going to try to switch them all off and have a holiday without modern technology.
We are going walking, cycling and horse riding. We are not going to play Call of Duty on an X-Box, but rather try out archery in an alpine meadow with wooden bows and arrows not virtual ones.
We are going to swing on real ropes over real gorges.
We are going to visit a farm with live animals that may bite.
We are going to stay overnight in a mountain hut and look at the stars rather than watching TV.
The lap top will remain closed and the phone switched off.
We are going to talk rather than have i-pods plugged in.
We’ve left details of our planned whereabouts in case of dire emergency but otherwise we have no intention of turning anything electric on except perhaps a light.
We are not going back to nature and slumming it as we are staying in a 4* hotel and eating well on our holiday with Thomson in the Austrian Tirol.
In short we are going to try to have a holiday like they used to be.
The only trouble is I am a self-confessed addict to communication technology. I cannot remember the last day I went without going on line to work, check e-mails and engage in cyberspace. PlanetSKI is a news and information web site and, as content, editor I spend far more time on-line than a normal person should.
I live via my laptop and have many more Facebook friends than real ones.
However the news and features team back in the office is good. They can surely live without me and my interferring and no email is so urgent it can not wait.
Max has agreed to buy into the arrangement as we plan to have a “real” holiday. But he likes his electronic toys as much as me. Probably more as he has fun with them while for me much of it is “work”.
And his team, Liverpool, is playing at the weekend and there can’t be a screen that far away.
For me not writing news and keeping abreast of what is happening in the ski world, British politics, Tripoli, sport, Hurricane Irene and every other area will be hard. Or maybe it will be totally liberating.
We will let you know how it all goes next Thursday or Friday when we plan to re-engage with the world.
James was last in the Austrian ski resort when there was snow on the ground back in December and he looked at the growing British interest in skiing in Austria.
The two of them tend to have quite fun on holiday together as they reported from their last father and son trip to Zermatt and Saas-Fee, that time though they were accompanied by modern technology!
For the spirit of the mountains