100 HOUR DIGITAL DETOX CHALLENGE (addicted to our phones)
we moved into the van to try and escape into nature but screens still rule our life we use google maps for directions google translate to talk we watch tv in the evenings and we make a living from social media each of us are thought to check our phones on average 150 times a day have i become chemically hooked you have but what is all of this screen time doing to our brains they saw a spike in depression and suicide instagram tick tock facebook and youtube these are all apps which are designed to be addictive and we are addicted so what if we just give it all up yeah that was probably the scariest drive that me and tom have ever done we were lost we're getting towards the end of our patience with today it's affected me way more than i thought it would for the next 100 hours we will be locking all of our electronics into a box and traveling around Romania the analog way we have gathered everything digital from the van that we can find projector laptop kindles speaker headphones internet stadia one thing we can't remove from the van is the desktop computer so we've got the mouse and the keyboard now this is the big one our smartphones this is probably going to be the hardest part of the challenge they're going to go off for the next 100 hours we are technology free let's lock it up so that's it we have no technology we have no way of contacting anyone we are alone here in the mountains i wouldn't say that i'm always on my phone i'm quite good at like if we're in a social situation just putting my phone away and not going on it but recently my statistics on my phone have been scaring me a little bit my screen time average per day for the last week has been five hours there is one piece of technology which we haven't locked up uh one screen that we are going to continue to look at over the next four days and that is you guys we're going to carry on filming this spot we're currently in is a classic park for night sport and we are parked up on this mountain overlooking this huge valley and in the bottom of this valley there's a river and over the river is ukraine well you know what i just had my first i can't leave without my phone already i've had quite a few attempting to reach for my phone in my pocket or looking around for it so i think it was definitely a good thing to tape that box closed because it's almost like habit i feel like i could go into that box and get my phone out without even thinking about it it's just like on autopilot we're out of the sun it's a little bit scary around here i don't really want to see a bear we have no way of protecting ourselves just a little walk in the woods suddenly becomes a lot more scary when you don't have a phone uh suddenly if we get lost we are lost uh if something happens we don't have any way to contact someone fear levels are high i just feel really on edge i keep hearing some crackling i keep thinking what was that one of the sort of sad things we've noticed about Romania is there is there's a lot of rubbish everywhere there's lots of plastic waste just in every bank you look down every river it's all over this forest throughout this forest and we're you know we're pretty isolated and remote out here it's a shame that big city behind us is in the ukraine and we've just heard air raid sirens going off hopefully it's all all right i've not really kept a journal for years actually not since i was like about 20. it's been about eight years since i've kept a journal um and i really i think i need it because i have a lot of worries going through my head and sometimes when you write it down you realise like how it's not even anything bad you don't have to worry about how you sound or what you're saying you can just be completely honest i think also i use my phone as like a little safety kind of coping mechanism when i feel a bit worried or like i just want to like hide and actually maybe i shouldn't be hiding do you feel like you want to go in your phone not really i actually don't think i ever really want to go on it i think i go on it because it's there in the pub i'm someone who quite often if someone asks like oh what's the capital of wherever or like oh what do you think this is i'll be the one who googles it and comes up with the answer even though actually trying to find the answer is like the fun bit actually maybe it's all right to not know the answers i had my first bout of i wouldn't say boredom but just a little bit restlessness not really sure what to do myself now about the time i'd go on my phone check my messages check the emails maybe watch a video but yeah we kind of purposely chose today our first day of our detox to just be doing nothing out here in this little park up just because it's i think it's quite a good little challenge without distractions like see how we cope today we're going to be cooking outside alfresco i think there's something about cooking outside that makes you feel like you're a kid again you're kind of playing me and my cousins when we were camping we used to play in like mud kitchens outside and just make loads of potions it kind of just feels a bit like the rules go out the window outside chuck in what you want oh god i'm sure it'll taste nice though uh britain great britain um we were just sat having dinner and some sheep and goats start appearing over the hill and then dogs and then the shepherd himself and he comes over and shakes my hand and we try and have a conversation in Romanian um which was very basic but he was so nice and so friendly the sun is setting and it has been a glorious day it's been really nice today i have really enjoyed having this evening without a phone screen um i don't know what time it is the sunset colours are out it must be around nine or ten still not dark yet though i do feel like with that without a phone i feel like we've got more time i'm really enjoying this long evening it's quite nice to just take a moment drink a cup of tea look at the view good morning from the hills of Romania day two of digital detox yeah we're waking up so now we're in what was it 20 must be about 25 hours into the detox if not more we have no idea of the time still feels it feels quite nice waking up not looking at your phone yeah i feel like i have a mental clarity from not having my phone because normally if there's ever a spare second i just go on my phone and don't really think about stuff but now i'm like actually like sat there looking at the view and just thinking about stuff a lot more and i've been having a few more like deeper thoughts about like what i want in my life and like what i want to be doing and it's been quite nice yesterday was yeah quite a slow day yeah just unplugging and getting used to life without technology today we're hitting the road and we're gonna try and do some exploring i'm really excited for it i'm a little bit nervous to be honest um because we are driving around Romania let me show you the map we're using we have to remember there's nowhere we need to be and it doesn't matter if we get lost like what is the worst that will happen we decided we wanted to get a map and this is the only one we could find and the scale is terrible we're about here and then over the next few days we're probably gonna drive like five centimeters so um the scale is not ideal for what we want but it does have some main places on so we should get an idea of the direction we want to go in um good to give us some perspective of where we are but yeah we were the only map we could find we tried in one of the petrol station stationary shops eventually i got this from a little stationary shop and this woman pulled it out from a big pile of paper and it's just like a kids map it's pretty bumpy down here oh it's a very hot day i don't know what time it is but i think it's before midday and it's already very hot i'm gonna head down to this town and see if we can explore we pulled into paid parking we just followed parking signs here we are so maybe with park 4 night we'd normally find a little free spot but actually we don't mind and it's probably really cheap we parked right in front of this really beautiful wooden church what you're always like oh i never know when i can interrupt. We are in a town called Sapanta.
and it looks amazing so we're gonna go and explore this town yeah I love Sapanta this is definitely one of the more touristy places we've been and there's like this market selling like lots of tourist stuff there's these plastic bottles which are filled with what i can only presume is a home brew but there's a really loud church bells ringing and this church is actually why we're here so this place is known as the merry cemetery because of its bright colours and amazing gravestones which are all carved from wood each of the gravestones shows a little like a little carving of a person in the grave and a poem about their life i like this one she's she's a mama she's a strong mum i actually finding it really weird because normally a place like this like a tourist spot i'd be filming on my phone tom would be filming on the camera it was actually really nice not to have like why am i taking that extra footage on my phone who is that for we've got it on the camera to look back on i don't need to and i can actually just appreciate the place more if i'm not filming so i'm not sure what the bellringer was really an aid of but it was pretty non-stop for quite a long time i just love walking around here seeing all the different occupations of the people you get a sense of not only the people but also the community what the lifestyle is like here a very beautiful church and a very beautiful graveyard now we've got to try and navigate our way to the next spot i guess without a map we didn't even really know where the next spot is we are in Sapanta and if we get to Baia Mare we've gone way too far okay so we want to like kind of follow the border down we want to end up in Vișeu de Sus I think okay i think but if we go down on this road and then double back on ourselves i think there are more it looks like there's more monasteries we have to hope we can see some road signs or something um the other thing we can look at is where we don't want to go Ukraine okay yeah and then also this big city honestly i don't think i've ever driven without a sat nav even in Cornwall where i know all the roads really well i always put on it's just like a little safety net yeah and i don't know why i just always have it on so it is really weird for me driving without it right that's not really right that's just a petrol station yeah we need to take a right at some point i think just take the next right we see we are lost we went across a roundabout towards Baia Mare which is this big town which we don't actually want to go towards there was no other place name sign so we just went there and now we're going to try and head left to our destination yeah we're heading like south and we want to go west but it's ok we're not massively lost. Ah i can't find it on the map, what about this, I don't know what that is, Moisei, I'm trying to find it .. yeah take it take it turn right yeah what confused me is down there it also said Moisei you're so confusing no but basically down there down that road as well that we could have just gone it also said Moisei well we were lost that's the first time i've been lost in like 20 years since google maps really it's very rare that you're actually lost using our terrible terrible like kids map um i think we're in the right we're going in the right direction which is really good we have made it to where we were trying to get to we didn't go on the road we wanted to go on we've gone on a different road um which was a shame because there was some like nice monasteries and stuff along the route but this place is like a steam train thing and the steam train goes through the mountains the only issue is we obviously can't buy a ticket online um or know what the time is so we're just gonna go into the office see what the deal is there's a big car park here so who knows maybe we can stay here overnight wahoo we've got um the Mocanita special which is a train ride and lunch we didn't do any research because we can't we don't have any internet but it turns out it's a six hour journey up through the mountains i really up for it actually it's gonna be great yeah um so yeah we catch our train at 11 30 tomorrow they said we can stay here in the car park there's free electricity free water and free toilets and free toilets and it's free to stay so yeah this is really good what are we thinking of course we'll be woken up by the trains don't need to worry about an alarm we've heard a lot of choo-choos this morning it's great here it's like a little party it's 9am musics blasting tunes tunes are blaring i'm really excited for this train journey Isabel's convinced me to put a shirt on for the occasion two mint lemonades hat upgrade.
it's quite small. yeah I know it's meant to be right. we have made it onto our train i've got my traditional Romanian hat on the steam engines actually don't run on coal they run on wood it's a wood fired steam engine so we got these special like menus along this journey we can have a meal a veggie meal a donut coffee hot chocolate or tea and a soft drink it was 125 leu for the whole journey and the food about 20 quid yeah not bad we have come to a halt the drivers just got out and they're inspecting the engines hopefully things are all good and we can get on our way this is so beautiful i feel like you're completely in the valley running i just love how it's running alongside this little river and i think we're at our first stop of the day where we can have our donut or cheese pie and our coffee i am having such a good time and it's such a nice day it's perfect weather and like it's just so enjoyable sitting on being on a train just being taken through this stunning valley how are you feeling without your phone i haven't really thought about it to be honest the only thing i was gonna say about that is last night in the night i had a bit of anxiety that like what if something happened at home and i wouldn't be able to know I quite like how with this Mocanita you commit your whole day there's no half measures you just settle in for the whole six hour train journey and there's no option to go shorter this might be our next stop we've got an hour here and we've got our food we've got a meal here apparently i'm actually really pleasantly surprised this looks vegan we've got loads of nice veggies salad and potatoes and breads we are on our way back uh that was really fun Isabel even got up and started dancing with all the traditional dancer people um and now we are trucking back back down the same way we came but now our steam engine is back to front because it's taking us home i don't want to leave this beautiful valley it's very dreamy and really relaxing nearly back now and we're sitting i'm sat on Tom's lap so someone can have our view ridin' on a train together a choo choo train together we have made it back after a very fun journey um it is half five now that's when we get back there's a really good map of the local area and we want to make a plan for tomorrow we might even make a little sketch of the map i think what we should do is go back up here down to Bogdan Vodă and to Ieud Ieud's got like one of these amazing wooden churches we've sketched out a map it's quite i actually did one before and it was very confusing so i had to do it again but i think we now know what we want to do tomorrow fingers crossed we don't get lost i'm missing my phone a bit right now and also oh yeah i'm just feeling a little bit restless like i could quite like to be entertained i'm doing my journal like a good digital detox, yeah such a saint yeah i've been writing way more than i thought i would i wrote like three pages i've been drawing pictures i've actually been really enjoying this very nice food though as well thank you very much i was just saying in my diary i keep getting these like moments of panic that i like can't be contacted in case something bad happened at home or something i'm just like i love everyone so much all i'm saying is if anyone is in danger or needs help or anything you're the last person they're going to contact Tom how did you know which way to turn because we're driving back the way we came but we have to look for a sign that says Bogdan Vodă then we drive all the way to end this road and turn right me and Tom are really loving Romania i know we're quite enthusiastic about everywhere we go but i can i can see myself living here it's it i just love the culture it's very relaxed and friendly and warm and the landscapes and the scenery is just really not what i expected it's really green luscious thick forests i love all the traditional houses yeah traditional farming we just heard the bells ringing in the nearby church which must mean it must be nine o'clock now it was really nice we woke up really early this morning um without any alarm or anything just because we're going to bed pretty early so we're also waking up early you can actually go inside this church it does say it's open from 9 30. as we've got half an hour to wait for the church to open we have decided to go and find the coffee rather than get google maps out we've actually just gone and asked a local who we saw and he's pointed us in the direction of the local little shop that was six leu for two black coffees so just under a pound for two coffees we have come back to the church and there still doesn't seem to be anyone around there's a phone number to ring if you want to go in obviously we don't have a phone we decided we're actually going to carry on in the opposite direction to where we're sort of heading back up the way and go to the other wooden church that we missed we weren't planning on going to it but because it's still quite early in the day we thought we'd give it a go we're going to drive up here and hopefully it's the right place if not oh well every minute i spend here i love it more and it's just got such character these little villages i don't know if it's just this area of Romania that we're in Maramureș but it's so it's so traditional so it turns out this monastery we headed to is not the monastery we were trying to go to this one is actually a modern church built in the traditional way and it is still under construction when we pulled up we were greeted by someone who showed us around the whole site and he's actually an icon maker he makes the icons for the church we're just soaking in this view it's just just beautiful here i found my little stall on the side of the road so i'm gonna go and get some fresh veggies well that was successful i've got a whole haul 15 leu i got strawberries onions peppers tomatoes and cucumbers it's such a nice store they were so friendly they gave me the onions for free two pounds that came to the whole thing came to we're making our way up a very windy mountain road trying to follow my map we're on the lookout for so on my map i drew some hairpin bends and we can't really work out if we're on those bends now or it's just just a bit windy we're looking out for something on the right to guide us to these waterfalls i really hope we're on the right track okay we found our turning but we think it's actually more of a walk we're at this entrance to this dirt road and it says it's a three-hour walk to the waterfall we just wanna uh drive it a lot of people are driving it i think it's fine come on tom you've got this you got a flat bit coming up you got this you got this you got this you got this we just need to walk the rest well we tried we tried to get up no wonder everyone's abandoning their cars back there we are not making it any further it's very muddy it's like clay on the floor so there's just absolutely no grip we're just completely slipping we got so close to the top it is not often la bamba is beaten by a road but she has met her match today we are on a very steep hill and the soil is just this clay stuff with no traction we found this place just on that big map at the train station and we didn't realise that there was quite such a hike to the waterfall we've been walking about an hour and a half down quite a steep hill so it's going to be really hard on the way up way back we've been going down down down on this dirt track i didn't really want to do a hike today i'm feeling a bit under the weather and uh because we don't have phones we didn't realise there was a hike involved with this and this is a pretty steep hill we have to go back up um also this waterfall is a bit too busy for my liking uh so we gotta go back up the hill now i'm just nervous for the return because it is quite steep uh about an hour of severe uphill let's go i think tom's a bit annoyed because he's really tired and he wasn't in the mood to do a big hike and it ended up being quite a big hike and he's not feeling like he's got all his energy that was probably the scariest drive tom and me have ever done it was so stressful we were like we couldn't film that that muddy track there was nowhere to turn and it was like we tried again and again to go up and we couldn't go up so we did she just had to reverse down and it was like ditches on either side we are getting towards the end of our patience with today we we're ready to stop because we're both really tired and hungry but we don't know where to go to sleep tonight this is a quite frustrating time to kind of miss park 4 night because we just find somewhere nearby to park so at this point we're just looking for somewhere we can pull over we don't really know where we are it's our first time finding like a wild park up and we've lucked out we've done really well we actually just turned off down a little dirt track and we've ended up here and it's really nice we just like uh got this little flat area in the middle of the woods i've cooked up a sauce with all the fresh veggies i got from the stall earlier today has been a very long day and we haven't eaten anything i reckon it's about eight o'clock eight o'clock at night and we've eaten for the first time all we've had today is like um a little kneel of a bit of bread and we're both very tired like overtired over hungry and that food was needed we're yeah 100 hours into our no technology so it's been four days and a morning but we've um completed our goal yeah of no technology i gotta say it's affected me way more than i thought it would for just doing it for 100 hours the message i would say to you guys as cliche as this sounds i really recommend doing it and i know we've got the privilege of time we can do it for 100 hours maybe you could do it for a weekend i think it hasn't come across on camera probably the biggest difference has been in the times when the camera hasn't actually been on yeah it's been in the evenings when we're talking or um when you're just quiet on your own with your thoughts we realised we've been using our phones as a distraction um from engaging with our thoughts properly and we've had more meaningful deep conversations over the last four days than we've had in the last three months really quite quite amazing how how much it's changed how we are and like yeah it's not necessarily all been good but we've had some really deep conversations and like it's really made us think about what we want to be doing in life my top five things in Romania so far the beautiful wooden thatched roofed houses just completely wooden houses number two the roofs aren't thatched yeah they're not thatched right my top five things in Romania number one you get served a chili on the side of your meal maybe it's fresh maybe it's pickled number two the beautiful wooden houses number three the friendly helpful nature of the Romanians number four the horse and carts number five the hay bales