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Vineyard Landscape
Vineyard Landscape
Alexandra R / Spoon

Unplugging for the week

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Scranton chapter.

This spring break I went to North Carolina to visit my uncle’s farm. He has a small house situated on a big plot of land. It stretches for acres that cater perfectly to his grazing donkeys and goats.

I grew up walking to the music of New York City car horns and commuter profanities that would slip out when their train left the station without them. I have perfected when to hold my breath for cigarette smoke clouds and when to exhale for wafts of hot buttery corner-street pretzels. My eyes naturally adjust to the blinding advertisements and blinking lights that flash in my face the second I emerge from the subway.

Despite my extensive credentials to handle chaos and true city hustle, I was not prepared for rural North Carolina. My body was utterly shocked and thrown into disarray by the country landscape. The moment I was driving the winding roads hidden in the thick of the Blue Ridge mountains, I knew I was about to experience a totally different type of life.

Time moved slower. Everything that passed my window seemed to sway in such a way that made even the trees seem to breathe. The donkeys and goats radiated the same refreshing energy that definitely trumped city roaches and pizza eating rodents.

Everyone I met welcomed me with a warm “y’all” instead of the New York City shove or dirty look. People were approachable and not in the same rush. The area seemed to glow in pure zen. I easily talked in a brewery to a random couple about their three-month-old puppy named Maverick while he rolled on the floor. At the Biltmore Estate, the waitress offered endless coffee refills and served us the best blueberry pancakes. We could tell the pancakes were homemade and mixed with a chef’s passion as each blueberry danced perfectly on our tongues.

I won’t lie, throughout the entire trip I took pictures and documented where we went. But the Wi-Fi and service was minimal to nonexistent during the day. That meant while I explored an isolated bookstore off the Blue Ridge Parkway or had my 9 a.m. fly fishing lesson, I was experiencing life unplugged. My friend’s texts had a delayed delivery and Instagram wouldn’t load. I was virtually unreachable with zero distractions from the vacation in front of me— it was beautiful. I could feel myself think and the anxieties generated from my phone disappear. I could just live and immerse myself in the “hey y’all” culture. It was peaceful and sheer bliss.

When my plane landed back in New York, I felt that magical peace drain away. We walked off the plane at 1 a.m. to yells produced from the gridlock of Ubers and Lyfts struggling to find their impatient customers. My phone was back to its normal hum, chime, and tweet with airplane mode off and a restored cell service. By the time we got home, I was convinced I never should have left my North Carolina bubble.

After a much-needed night’s sleep, I remembered my reality. I am a city girl. It is what my body knows. The expected level of activity and accessibility is what’s engrained in my muscles and my proximity to the city is not going to change anytime soon. While I will definitely be taking another vacation to North Carolina, my trip taught me the importance of balance. I need to find a space that allows my body and mind to relax. Prevent burnout. My plan is to try walking without my phone when the weather is sunny and bright. The simulated unplugged life might be enough to recreate a little piece of my North Carolina.

Aimee Mockler

Scranton '24

Hi! I am one of the Campus Correspondents of HerCampus at the University of Scranton. I am a third-year occupational therapy major with a minor in psychology. I love to bake and also participate in theater on campus!
Emma Graff

Scranton '24

Emma Graff is a junior English and Public Relations double major. She shares the Events Coordinator position for the Her Campus Scranton chapter. Her passions include poetry, fashion, and finding the best coffee places around. She hopes that her articles spark confidence and joy within her readers.