No service and time to read

Evening sun in Usedom

I’ve been off the air for the past 4 days. Really off the air. My phone permanently had the words “No Service” on the display. I actually liked it…

Two weeks ago we spontaneously decided to book a family trip. Life has been so busy for us that we felt like we needed a change of scenery. Away from chores, deadlines, house planning and the every day routines. Time for each other. Real family time without distraction.

And so it happened that both P. and I had no phone reception or any means of accessing the internet. I admit, that some times it was awkward. When we travel we rely on Google Maps a lot. It’s a great tool to figure out where the next pee break for the kids is going to be (unless it becomes an emergency then anywhere will do) or even for mapping out forest walks or the quickest route to the ice cream place. We used to plan our trips a lot in advance but now we tend to check Google for museum opening times or Trip Advisor for the best fish restaurant in town. How we travel has really changed over the years. This weekend we went “old school” and used paper maps and brochures and asked an actual person for recommendations for places worth visiting.

But one thing that has remained the same is that I use holiday time to read. I pack a stack of unread magazines and possibly a book. Neither of these will get fully read but at least I will get past the first couple of pages, which as a busy mother or 2 is a luxury. Here’s what I packed:

  • Der Mama Styleguide: Mode-, Wohn- und Lebensstil mit Kind (Knesenbeck Verlag): I bought it to practice my German reading skills :-) Actually, I have been following the photographer for this project, Jules Villbrandt, on Instagram and when I saw that she contributed to this book I was curious. For me personally, this book is a breath of fresh air. It tells and shows what life is really like with kids in tow wether you are a single parent or part of a couple. Wether you are a young mom or a mother of teenage kids. And for me, most importantly, the reality of the working mum anno 2016. It turns out that you can be a successful working mom even if you can only manage 5 hours of work a day (provided no one is sick etc.). Why is it I never saw this? Or have I been defining personal succes the wrong way? In any case, I am grateful for living in Berlin, the childcare options it provides and therefor the work opportunities it offers me. If you don’t know German it is still worth checking out the photos in this book for inspiration, as is the Mummy Mag Pinterest account for inspiration for all things Mother/Woman/Kids.
  • Flow Magazine: Last year I ditched all the glossy women’s magazines. I found that I only read half of the articles and always got annoyed that the first 10 pages were just ads. Flow Magazine has very little adds and is full of things I want to read. Instead of screaming: “Buy these killer heels NOW!” it whispers: “Get yourself a cup of tea and relax for 5 minutes because everything will still be there when you’re done sipping a good brew and you deserve 5 minutes to yourself.” I really prefer the whisper… besides, I’m a city mom now which means lots of walking, sandy playgrounds and dragging buggies up and down U-Bahn (underground) steps (when the lift is missing or the queue for one is too long). Killer heels are no longer part of my life. That’s just the way it is.
  • Several interior design and architectural magazines: we bought our very own bit of Berlin property! The inside will be unfinished which means there is still a lot of work to be done. But it also means we have a blank canvas. It’s a scary but exciting project and we can’t wait to get stuck in. A bit of inspiration is always needed but more importantly, since we are still quite new to Germany, lists of stockists are required, hence the home magazines.

I hope you had a good weekend. I’m now looking forward to getting back into the swing of things though maybe at a slower pace.

Have your travel habits changed over the years because of technology? And what is your favourite thing to read when you escape the every day?

2 thoughts on “No service and time to read

  1. Talia says:

    Vacation is a great time for reading. I love to be disconnect , even sometimes it’s a bit hard , as you mentioned.
    I have also a subscription to Flow magazine and I am absolutely not up to date.
    lately I just finished Flow # 8, 4 more magazines I haven’t touched yet are waiting for the right moment (as well as other magazines – Uppercase and the French toc-toc-toc which I am far behind ) but it doesn’t bothering me as it has nothing to do with reading here and now news which I am trying to avoid anyway.
    I like to read these magazine from cover to cover, enjoying it on my own rhythm.
    The idea of starting 100 happy days project came from a very short item in Flow.
    Unfortunately I am not a traveling as much as I wish but I love reading, real books made of paper , not watching TV at all .
    Have a great week
    Talia

    • Annelies says:

      It is so hard to find the time sometimes. I’m still quite tired at the end of the day after work and looking after the kids. My husband is away a lot of nights for work so I have to do kindergarten pick-up, dinner, bedtime and tidy up. By that time I’m ready for sleep too :-) I did do an experiment some months ago where I left my phone in the kitchen after dinner and left it there until the morning. And guess what? I ended up reading in bed again as a form of relaxation. My sleep was so much better. Hm, as I’m writing his I’m thinking I should do this again…

      And I must look up those magazines you mentioned :-)

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