Guyana: Destination Digital Detox

Guyana: Destination Digital Detox

Kaieteur Falls - Guyana (Image: Safon Floyd)

It is true that on any given day you never know where your life will take you–all you have to do is wake up. This truth was proven to me when a 24-hour notice for a trip to discover Guyana changed my life, forever.

With much apprehension and an exercise in trusting my gut, I boarded a flight for an eco-tourism excursion that I’ll never forget. The adventure began from the moment I touched down in Guyana’s capital city of Georgetown.

I arrived at Cara Lodge where I was later greeted by threde other ladies I’d grow to cherish, along with the helpful and informative Wilderness Explorers team.

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We were off.

What started off as a calm, introspective ride through the capital quickly took quite the turn. We arrived at Ogle International Airport where we boarded a plane (this term is used loosely as I’m not certain that a seven-passenger aircraft can be considered much of a plane at all) headed for the jaw-dropping views of Guyana’s own Kaieteur Falls–recognized as the world’s widest single drop waterfall. Here is where things got interesting. I needed help–tons of it. Nothing in me said that boarding this ‘flight’ was okay. Flight anxiety took over and tears began to well. Here’s when I knew I was in the best hands with Wilderness Explorers as our tour guide swiftly stepped in with comforting  words to hang on, a shoulder to lean on, and arms to grab on to, if need be. I boarded.

The view–my goodness, the view. Taking in the pristine, untouched, and undisturbed virgin rainforest of Guyana from hundreds of feet above allowed for one of those moments when you wish to pause time and take it all in as best you can.

We landed on a remote airstrip and hiked through the Amazon rainforest to the falls. The stillness and  aesthetic of the falls was enough to render you breathless. We hiked, spotted birds, and learned of the countless trees, leaves, flowers, and sounds native to Kaeituer. This was also around the time that we all realized that our digital devices were out of service. We were completely disconnected from the world all while connecting so deeply with it.

I took pictures–lots of pictures at the falls, but that was the extent of what my technological abilities would allow. Take your photo, then put your phone down and take it in.

We reluctantly left the falls and headed to Karanambu, a 110-square mile former cattle ranch located in North Rupunini, where we would stay for the night. Here we got our first glimpse of the savannahs of Guyana. Here is where we flowed lazily down the Rupunini River as we looked for giant river otters, Black Caimans, jumping fish, and hyperactive  monkeys. We saw it all. We arrived back at Karanambu and this is when the absence of technology began to set in. Without the constant distraction of visual stimulation that comes with discovering new terrain, what was left? With no Instagram or Twitter to scroll through, emails to check, or texts to send, what should I, like, do?