Finding Presence Without My Phone

I lost my phone—or more likely it was stolen—on my second day abroad. What a good indicator of how the rest of my trip would be.

At first, it was quite stressful. My demeanor and attitude changed for the worst, but eventually, as I progressed to the “acceptance” stage of grief, I found my silver lining: How to be present.

It is crazy that an extreme such as losing my phone in a foreign country caused me to stop and enjoy the present moment instead of being discontent and concerned with what other people were doing. I’m almost embarrassed by it.

Without my phone, I was able to:

  • Explore the views from the castles and fortresses of Toledo
  • Talk enthusiastically with my host mom for hours
  • Enjoy Sevillan sunsets without the pressure of taking a picture to supposedly remember it
  • Meet new local friends whilst asking for directions
  • Take in every cultural quirk such as street performers, book fairs, secret gardens, and the children playing soccer with bitter oranges on the street
  • Become confident in making my way to the gym, the library, and the university making the seemingly mundane beautiful

While I don’t condone losing your phone, much less losing it in another country, I challenge you to take an hour, a day, even a week without your phone. See if anything is different. Notice how reliant our society is on our phones for everything. Maybe, you will realize that you’re better off without it.

Avery Lorio  is a student at Samford University. She is an ISA Featured Blogger and is studying abroad with ISA in Seville, Spain.

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