Internet is a huge distraction. I always read these articles about how Indians travel to places so that they can update their Instagram and post a million stories about their vacation. I read these articles and wonder if such people really exist. Free wifi may be important but not this much that one would ruin their vacation doing so.
I have spent more than one year travelling and blogging. I use internet but not like many others. I have seen people leaving mid-trek because their phone ran out of charge or they didn’t have any battery in their camera. In my case, having a book is enough to resonate with the beauty of the place.
Recently I came across this marvel of the internet called PUBG. I wanted a distraction from social media because of the political climate and negativity going around so I thought that this (un)social game would be the best way to distract and use less time fighting with strangers. I know, it sounds stupid, like someone wanted a distraction from coffee so they started having beer to get over it.
In the beginning, PUBG was nice. I was a good player but it never distracted me from my personal preferences. I never went to a café and asked for their wifi just so that I could shoot a bunch of random strangers in a wasteland. I would play PUBG when I had absolutely nothing else to do.
And then Sri Lanka happened. I had planned a solo trip to Sri Lanka and I was so excited for it. Little did I know that PUBG will almost ruin my trip and I won’t be able to go see anything because of this addiction?
At first it was helpful. I arrived in Sri Lanka at 1:30 AM. I was sitting at the airport with almost 6 hours to pass-by. Free wifi and PUBG was an ideal time-pass so I logged in, started shooting and getting shot. Time passed by in a jiffy and finally sun came out, the buses started running and I left for Colombo.
But then PUBG became a habit, and such a bad one that I missed multiple sunsets and sunrises because of the damn game.
It started in Colombo. I had returned from sightseeing, I was tired and the hot weather had sucked all the energy out of me. The hostel had free wifi so I logged in to PUBG again and thought of playing one round before going to sleep. This happened when I had arrived in Sri Lanka from India at 1:30 AM and had only 2 hours of sleep. Continuously I was shot within the first few minutes of the tournament. This happened once, then twice and then continued. I slept at 2 AM and woke up at 12 PM. I had plans to travel to Galle but here I was with another round of PUBG.
A strong regret filled me from inside because till now I had only spent my journey making fun of people who would not stop instagramming and clicking selfies during their trip. I once met this girl on a trek whose phone had ran out of charge and was ready to pay any amount to find a charger. Thankfully, I won’t find a network on such a trek to play PUBG there.
In the past, I have left my memory card and camera battery at home and only realized about it when I reached my destination. And yet I was absolutely fine with lack of pictures and social media updates because I never thought about it as a priority. Still this game ruined my vacation.
My poor performance in PUBG continued and it kept affecting local sightseeing for the next 5 days. I reached Kandy and then I realized that how stupid this game has been. I missed a crazy house party because of some fictional chicken dinner. Reaching Pochinki was more important to me than reaching the Temple of Sacred Tooth.
Finally I uninstalled the game to enjoy rest of my journey in a better way. Later, I left my phone at the hostel and spent a whole day exploring Nuwara Ella. I fought with Monkeys who tore my pant and in Ella, I saw a thousand tourists standing around the Nine Arches Bridge trying to click a photo of a passing train.
Sri Lanka became fun when I removed social media from the package. Some of my plans went out of the place due to the weather but that only means that I will return one more time it gets better and comforting enough to explore more and in a better way.