Taking a 40 Hour Sabbatical is simple.
I spend all day, every day in front of screens.
From the moment I wake up (my alarm going off on my phone), all through the work day (I’m a graphic designer and it’s impossible to avoid), when I get home (TV, video games, lettering on my iPad pro), and when I’m about to fall asleep (checking the calendar, setting my alarms for the next morning).
Just once, I wanted to get away from it all. To experience this city without the assistance of google maps, try new coffee shops without the urge to post a boomerang to my IG stories, live my life without the distraction of the internet in my pocket.
I decided to spend each day exploring a different district in the city, trying out restaurants and cafes, reading books and documenting the whole thing with my film camera.
WHAT I DIDN’T DO:
• Use My Phone
• Watch TV/Movies
• Listen to Spotify
• Wear my Apple Watch
• Talk to Alexa
• Use my Computer
• Stay at Home All Day
WHAT I DID:
• Explore 5 Main Street Districts
• Read 4.5 Books
• Buy 5 Records
• Ignore 300+ Emails
• Spend 15 Hours Outdoors
• Capture & Develop 4 Rolls of Film (with lots of mistakes along the way)
• Complete 5 Lettering Pieces
How to wait - for the elevator, in line waiting to drop off film, for the right moment to take a photo. Making plans a week ahead of time and having to wait for them.
How to listen - to the music playing at cafes, to records (thoroughly and all the way through), to the ambient sounds outside, to other people’s conversations
How to live slowly - doing things the slow way, playing board games, watching the world around me. Wearing a watch.
How to be patient - lots of reading. LOTS. Exploring with the windows down.
How to be alone - I usually hate eating alone, and going places alone.
How to ruin photos - pretty self explanatory.
How to be okay with not knowing things - the weather, how to get places, open hours, menus, what my photos looked like until much later
I never realized just how deeply my phone is integrated into my life. Before I start my day, I check the weather, my calendar, the traffic. Before I go to a restaurant, I check google maps to see what their hours are, look at the menu. When i’m waiting in line or on an elevator, I pull out my phone and check my email (and Facebook, and Instagram, and Snapchat, and… you get the idea).
I had to buy a real watch AND an actual alarm clock. I had to write down all the places I wanted to go, and make little maps of where some of them were (because I couldn’t rely on google or my memory). I listened to a lot of records (and bought a few new ones, too). I read 4 1/2 books. I only got surprised by rain once (couldn’t check the weather, remember?).
The world felt very quiet. I realized just how often I plug my phone in to play music, just how often I gravitate toward it when I’m bored. I realized that I don’t look as closely at the world around me when there’s a world inside that screen for me to explore.
Miranda is a collector of black shoes, amateur plant mom, Instagram-famous hand letterer, macaroni and cheese aficionado and unapologetic cat-cuddler.
"Be brave enough to live creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You cannot get there by bus, only by hard work, risking and by not quite knowing what you are doing. What you will discover will be wonderful; yourself."Alan Alda