TIME TO UNPLUG

never forget the importance of adventure

Written by Chris Hunt Photography by Secret Compass teammates

Look around you, we’re plugged in with no escape plan. 34% of you checked Facebook in the last ten minutes. We call it connection but the longer we stay online, the more we detach from the things we should hold dearest.

Communications regulator Ofcom say the average adult in the UK spends eight hours and 41 minutes a day on media devices, while an average night’s sleep is little over eight hours. And the effects on our bodies and brains is real. A study from Microsoft Corp suggests we generally lose concentration after eight seconds, result of an increasingly digitalised lifestyle while the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that heavy social media users were twice as likely to experience social isolation.

Above the clouds on the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Russia © Secret Compass

Electronics are even convoluting our sacred time in the outdoors. Now, don’t get us wrong, we’re partial to clocking our ride stats on a cycle computer or shooting a session in the mountains with a GoPro, but our bodies are craving digital silence and it’s time we listen.

Total digital silence feeds the soul. As our lives get busier, and more digitally centric, it’s no surprise that time to time our minds require a little clearing and there’s a lot to be said for unadulterated time outdoors. It gives us purpose, perspective and a place in the bigger scheme. Many of us are quick to fight for the importance of encouraging children to spend time outside. A chance to know nature and discover where they fit into it. So why is it any different for adults? We’re hypocrites for not abiding by the same guidance. Sure, these are big philosophical topics, but we can all attest to being better, happier versions of ourselves when we return from a day on the hill.

Wakhan Corridor © Jan Bakker / Secret Compass
Under the stars on expedition in Ethiopia. © Richard Wain-Hobson / Secret Compass

Call it bias but in our world, adventure is the perfect catalyst to free your body and mind from the digital matrix. The chance to lose ourselves while simultaneously learning so much about ourselves. Exploring comfort zones to discover wild places and disconnecting from the realities of everyday, with clarity of mind and unrivalled freedom we tap back in to the world around us. In these moments, we’re 100% present, and at the end of the day isn’t that what life is all about? Our lives are full of insignificant worries and squandered opportunity so we owe it to ourselves to at the very least make the most of our time and embrace something greater than our daily routine. When all is said and done, what are you more likely to regret, time spent outdoors or time behind a screen?

Beneath the jungle canopy or perched high on an alpine ridgeline, your phone is nothing but an overqualified camera / torch combo. While forcible removal of connectivity is rarely an explicit objective, it’s a beautiful bi-product of life on expedition. So, it’s with this sentiment that we make a vow not to adhere to the conformities of every day. Continuing to push the envelope and embrace the wild corners of this Earth. We owe it to ourselves.

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