Cathay Pacific Airways is one of my favorite carriers to fly under the OneWorld Alliance not only because of their on board service and luxurious amenities but also because of their ground service and airport lounges. Without a doubt Cathay Pacific is a carrier that wants to continue to evolve within the industry but with a mission to inspire and motivate the frequent and seasonal traveler with their innovative campaigns such as #OneDayOffline and #LifeWellTravelled. Not long ago we learned that Cathay Pacific has rebranded the look of their aircraft with the introduction of their new livery.
CATHAY PACIFIC NEW LIVERY
LEARN ABOUT THEIR NEW LIVERY
THE CAMPAIGN – ONEDAYOFFLINE
I have taken part on a few exciting moments with Cathay Pacific and one of them was to promote their latest route from Boston to Hong Kong. Hong Kong is one of my favorite destinations around the World and if I am able to inspire and encourage others to visit the destination, why not? It is a destination rich in culture, cuisine, history and hidden gems to discover that will only enrich your life with new and unforgettable memories.
On Today’s installment I will be sharing my experience by being offline, meaning without the use of my mobile device and anything tech related. When I first saw the introduction of the #OneDayOffline campaign I was thrilled on the concept because it’s something I can relate to and I was keen to see if by being disconnected truly makes a difference during my travels.
Via Cathay Pacific: “We are aware that many travellers are overly reliant on their internet-connected mobile devices and the habit of always being online can sometimes get in the way of our travel experiences. Through the launch of #onedayoffline, we aim to remind and help people to travel well, creating a deeper emotional connection between Cathay Pacific and our global travellers,” Mr Lyden continued.
Influential bloggers, top YouTube and Instagram users and celebrities from around the world will be taking part in the #onedayoffline campaign.
After a few discussions with the marketing team of Cathay Pacific Airways, I accepted the challenge being that I was en route to Barcelona and Madrid and incase you are not aware, Cathay Pacific has a new route coming which is Hong Kong to Madrid, so it all fit perfectly.
MY ONEDAYOFFLINE PLEDGE
At the time, I posted this photo via my Instagram account and I shared the following text: I will be disconnecting from my iPhone, iWatch, computer and anything tech related with the goal to give travel a whole new meaning and soak in the vibe with a better outlook.
I was departing Barcelona early morning (6:30am) with a direct flight to Madrid. Upon arrival I decided to disconnect from my iPhone, iWatch and anything tech related. The real test began to see how this concept would impact my travels and overall adventure around Madrid.
The view on approach into Madrid Bajaras International airport and upon touch down, I shared the following text via my Instagram account: Disconnecting from the World for a day or two. Check in with you all very soon. Buenos Dias Madrid
THE ADVENTURES DURING ONEDAYOFFLINE
- For my adventures I went ahead to discover the museum called “Reina Sofia” to see some of the great paintings by artists like Pablo Picasso.
- Followed by visiting two major sights of Madrid known as Avila & Segovia while also exploring the beautiful castle of Alcazar and Segovia Cathedral, by taking a one hour bus ride. Where I was able to interact with the locals of each destination & get to know more of the incredible landmarks.
Arriving in Avila & about to walk through the doors leading me to the Old Town of Avila. Can you believe that the town it’s surrounded by this beautiful medieval walls with 9 entrances? It’s a complete new world once you walk in.
From the old town, I am overlooking the new town of Avila.
The Aqueduct of Segovia or better yet the Aqueduct Bridge. One of the most significant and best-preserved ancient monuments left on the Iberian Peninsula.
Overlooking this beautiful little town from the famous Castle known as Alcazar in Segovia, Spain. Gorgeous town with little bars, tapas, local shops and hostels.
Exploring inside the beautiful Segovia, Cathedral. It was the last Gothic cathedral built in Spain. There’s a fee to enter for those who would like to see it. General admission €3 Euros, groups €2 & free admission on Sunday’s from 8:30am – 1:30pm. Truly incredible, make this one of your bucket list landmarks to visit
- For the dining experience I went to the best restaurant in Segovia called “Meson De Candido” which is a Michelin Selection restaurant. It was not a pricey restaurant considered it’s in the heart of a major tourist attraction and a michelin selection restaurant, do keep in mind the traffic of people is heavy and there can be a wait time for large groups of people.
NOTE: If you happen to dine in at Meson De Candido keep in mind the bread you see pictured is not complimentary. If you happen to not eat the bread, make sure you ask the waiter to remove that from the bill as they happen to charge for the bread placed on your table. It is a tricky method on their behalf and they should ask you if you want bread or not before putting it on your table. But you can freely request to have them remove that from your bill.
Keep in mind, that the signature item at a variety of restaurants within Segovia it’s the Famous Roasted Suckling Pigs. I wasn’t keen to try it but you can bet a lot of the tourist were digging in on it.
SEGOVIA SIGNATURE DISH
MY THOUGHTS ON BEING DISCONNECTED
Being disconnected felt weird at first but I was able to truly focus on maximizing the adventures, without the need of looking at my phone constantly and focusing on paying close attention to things you would normally not look at. As the hours went on I said to myself “It feels really nice being without my phone” and by that I mean, I was having such a great time living in the moment than being consumed by social media or other outlets at the time was something I didn’t want to spend time on.
The concept of not having my phone on me – Not having my phone on me felt awfully weird because I have the tendency to check my social media outlets quite frequent along with my work emails. It is a bad habit that repeatedly I find myself doing and not being consumed by that allowed me to “disconnect” from the real world for a full day and regroup with myself and focus strictly on what I was doing. It also gave me a sense of “peace of mind” and tranquility as I didn’t feel pressured to post something or “keep busy”.
What did I use to document my adventure? – The fact of not having my phone on me made it hard to take pictures at a pretty fast pace. I use my iPhone6 quite a bit to take instant photos of things that catches my attention and I felt “frozen” when I had to pull up my GoPro Hero4 Camera, adjust the settings and then take the photo. I found myself missing the shot I wanted a lot of the times and then refused to take the photo because it was something it didn’t have a meaning anymore. So the use of my iPhone certainly comes in handy for a “snap and go shot”. Besides my GoPro camera I used pen and paper to take notes throughout the adventures and it felt nice to write down rather than taking notes on my mobile which could have lead to checking social medias, text messages and emails. When was the last time you wrote on a piece of paper while traveling around? Ask yourself that and it might put things into perspective.
How many days was I without my phone? – Rather than just “OneDayoffline” I decided to go two days without my phone. The first day felt truly amazing and was a real test being without it that I wanted to test myself to see if it was possible to go another day without it. I went out to eat, explored, shopped and the thought of not having a phone felt glorious. It gives you a whole different vibe and focus that truly looking at my phone was the last thing I wanted to do.
How did it feel using my phone again? – I turned on my phone after two days with 95% charge and let the emails, text messages and Facebook notifications blow up my phone. How did it feel when I first grabbed it? AWFUL. I even said to myself “Why do I spend so much time on this device?” I shouldn’t let this consume me and my life. I didn’t check every notification at once and I took my time to go over things rather than waisting hours on it and leaving precious time of adventure go to waste.
Did it improve my travel experience? – Certainly being without my phone improved my travel experience. There has been many times during my trips I have missed wonderful moments by either texting, updating social media channels or simply just looking at my phone. By not being on my phone or should I say “glued to my phone” it allowed me to focus on what truly matters at the time. I was able to capture, see and learn about things that normally you wouldn’t pay attention on. It was Me Vs Culture, Me Vs Adventure and Me Vs The locals a truly one of a kind experience.
I encourage you all to disconnect yourself from your cell phone, social media and other distracting factors, specially during your travels and see how you feel. I will be doing this more often during my upcoming travels as it truly made a difference to my work.
A Big Thanks to Cathay Pacific Airways for inviting me to take part of the #OneDayOffline, it was a memorable experience.