Off The Grid


Where can I Wi-Find some internet around here?
May 18, 2016

Far too often do I find myself on the internet. What can I say? I like to stay connected. When I’m not able to access the internet, I feel anxious and on edge until I’m able to see those three bars light up again on my phone. I’ve become addicted to having access to information at all times. Even if there’s nothing new on Twitter and my email inbox is empty, I still feel a need to have that connection. Today, this all changed (sort of).


Wifi the past few days in Belfast has been slow and sparse, but we managed. We had enough wifi to keep us connected to the world but not enough to keep us from enjoying getting to know one another. I got used to the amount of service by the fourth day in Belfast. Unfortunately, we left Belfast on the fifth. Today, we left the grid.

From the moment we walked out of our hotel until we went to dinner at 8 PM, we were left wifi-less. Our Shamrocker tour didn’t include a wifi-capable bus. At first, we were all in agony. We decided to sleep in the bus since there would be nothing else to do. But then we saw it. The sea. At that moment I think we all realized that it didn’t matter if we could reach our families back in America, because what was right in front of our eyes was so special. We drove along the Irish coast for about two hours until we reached our first destination: Giant’s Causeway. We hiked for about two hours, taking tons of pictures along the way. In those two hours, I had completely forgotten about the lack of wifi. We were all too caught up in the moment. The same thing happened at the other two locations we visited (Dunluce Castle and the Dark Hedges). It wasn’t until our tour guide mentioned that our hostel had wifi that we were once again concerned about staying connected.


Once we were reminded that wifi was something we could use, we went back to searching frantically for it. Unfortunately, the wifi at the hostel only works for about five minutes before it disappears, and the signal at the only pub in town isn’t much better. We honestly would have been better off if the hostel had no wifi at all, because that way we wouldn’t have false hope about regaining signal.

Although being off the grid for a few hours was refreshing, it’s not the way I want to live my life. As I write this, a group of eight of us are sitting near the router waiting and hoping that it will work again. It may seem desperate and pretty hashtag millennial problems, but in reality, most of us just want to contact our families back home to let them know we are safe. Social media isn’t even on our minds at the moment. Nonetheless, I know that all of this is temporary and that I can one day (hopefully soon) return to having access to all of my favorite websites. Until then, we can all just pretend we’re in Weird Al Yankovich’s “Amish Paradise” music video.

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