By STEVEN SAMPSON
When was the last time that you powered down your phone and disconnected your iPad? For those of us of a certain age, there exists a vague memory of what those days were like. However, for many people, the concept of being disconnected from their device is a strange and alien notion.
Give it a try…I dare you. Put your phone in a drawer and begin reading a good book. In about an hour, one of a few things will begin to happen. First, you will begin to notice a slight twitching in your eyelids followed by a stiffening in your neck. Your breathing has become more labored and a layer of sweat permeates your forehead.
After three hours, you are in high anxiety. If you are under the age of 30, you are now nearing full cardiac arrest and have most likely swallowed your tongue.
But, if you are one of the lucky ones who have survived, shortly afterwards, it hits you like a warm blanket after waking from a bad dream. You have now entered the blissful state of “Digital Detox.”
Our society’s dependence on our devices has reached a tipping point. That ding of an incoming email or text has turned us into rabid Pavlovian dogs. We are not safe anywhere anymore.
However, there are a few places where one can escape for tranquility. You can book a flight to Tibet and check into a monastery, or you can take a short drive up Castle Hot Springs Road just north of Phoenix and revert back in time to a non-electronic era.
Castle Hot Springs, the mythical early 20th century playground for the rich and famous, is preparing to reopen after being a shuttered ghost town for the past 40 years. The wireless signal is miles away.
There are no televisions in the guest rooms. The telephones are antiquated rotary dialers. The main lodge has a phone booth that held the very first telephone used in the territory of Arizona. The music infused throughout the property is from the Golden Era of the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s.
It is placid and peaceful. People actually look each other in the eye and have a conversation over dinner.
In a short period of time, you begin to remember what your life was like when it did not spin out of control every day. Your food tastes better, the air smells cleaner, and you cannot remember if it is Tuesday or Thursday.
Do not fret…most of you will only stay a day or two and you will soon be free to reboot and rejoin that chaotic civilization. But for that brief and shining moment, you can experience what all that technology was supposed to do for you…enrich you and make your life easier.
Castle Hot Springs can be that sanctuary. Wellness activities will abound. You can leave feeling restored and a better person than when you arrived.
Sampson is part of the development team at Castle Hot Springs. He has been in hotel sales and marketing in Arizona for over 30 years.