I landed in Thiruvanthanapuram, Kerala around 3:10am local time on Tuesday, January 3rd. That was about two and half days ago. Between the effects of nearly twenty hours in flight and the time change, I am still not sure what day this is and I have no idea what is happening in the world. To make matters worse, my electronics are not automatically synced to anything. In fact, without consistent Wi-Fi, I had to turn off most of my notifications and apps to keep the phone from using up the battery. I realize I may sound like a whiny privileged adult with my first-world issues, but those of us who use technology and devices to manage our time and travel are dependent on these conveniences to keep to our schedules and our lifestyles. In my everyday life, the thought of misplacing my phone or having no Wi-Fi terrifies me.
When I was planning for India, I anticipated the lack of consistent internet access but I overestimated my need for technology and devices for life in India. I thought I would be devastated without constant access. After two days in country, I realize I am really learning how to live a different life, one without my dependence to technology and devices. As I write this, I am chuckling because I remember when none of us had cellphones or Wi-Fi and we lived happy lives. I did not get my first cell phone until I was a young soldier stationed in Germany. Even then, I barely used my cell phone. That was about sixteen years ago when my life was governed by the work schedule of the Surgical Clinic where I worked at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.
You might be asking why I am reminiscing about my time in the military and what it must do with moving to India for six months. It seems that I have been shifting from one lifestyle and pace to another for so many years that moving to India for a short time will not be that difficult. In the Army, I learned to train for the job I had to do while anticipating potential changes and I realize that my whole life has been a practice of that. While I wasn’t particularly good at being a soldier, I learned valuable life lessons about adapting to change before the changes engulf me. Moving to India was my choice and so is being less dependent on technology for the next six months.