From the last email before we fall asleep to the first tweet upon rising, our most intimate relationships are often electronic. Without our devices, we suffer the queasy signs of withdrawal. With them, our lives take place on a tiny screen, and the natural landscape morphs into a series of Pokéstops. Now science backs up what we long suspected — digital overload isn't good for body or mind. So consider these off-the-grid getaways to reconnect with the real world.
Nayara Springs, Costa Rica
One of the world's most breathtaking tropical resorts now offers a Digital Detox Special. It's a weekend of pampering in paradise, but first you have to check your electronic devices. Then each day begins with yoga overlooking the rain forest canopy, followed by breakfast served at your villa's private pool. Then you can stroll through lush gardens with a bird-watching guide, relax with a hot stone massage and let the experience renew your joy in reality.
Breitenbush Hot Springs, Oregon
Your geothermally heated cabin in this idyllic wilderness retreat will have no television, internet or phone, and no mobile service except for emergencies. To take the edge off this cold-turkey withdrawal, hike ancient forest trails, listen to the rush of a pristine river, immerse yourself in natural hot springs and enjoy a massage to ease your cares away. After a few days, you may never want to hear a ringtone again.
Folk Rebellion, a group dedicated to offline living, has organized a February tour to the Northwest Territories to view the magnificent Northern Lights. You'll unplug at Blachford Lodge, a rustic inn accessible only by seaplane. Then each night, view the spectacularly illuminated skies from hot tubs, igloos and viewing decks. It is cold up there, but they'll provide thick down coats and woolen socks. Even better, you'll have saunas, hot tubs and cocktails by the fireplace to keep you toasty.