by Ernesto Ruiz

Technology often gets in the way of our appreciation of our surroundings. More often than I'd like to admit, my wife reminds me to put my phone away when I should be paying attention to the beauty - or the company- around us. This is why remote places, where the option to connect is not there, is a healthy practice to help us refocus our attention. One such destination is the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of northern Minnesota.

The beauty of the BWCAW is in the experience as much as the landscape; everyday life quickly feels like a distant memory when you are surrounded by such peace and stillness.It makes you look around and recognize your surroundings, it forces you to be present, and it naturally encourages a slowing down of your attention to fully grasp its beauty.

Would the BWCAW be the same if cell phones worked? It would be challenging to enjoy it the same way. The lack of access to social media makes it easier to connect and foster real experiences. Still, I do bring other technology with me; my photographic gear. While I often put it away when the sun is high, I focus intensely on the photographic pursuit at times, especially at dawn and dusk. This intensity makes me wonder, am I really enjoying this moment and place? Can I truly say that I left technology behind, or am I too focused on camera settings?

To read more about how this photographer unplugs from technology in nature, along with other great content in Lake Time Magazine, you can purchase or subscribe online HERE and support this independent publication. By becoming a member you would receive the latest issues PLUS great Lake + Co. Shop perks!