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Disconnecting to Reconnect in Tulum

By Sophia Perlstein
Jan 15, 2020

Delicate rays of light creep through my white linen curtains, drawing lines across my bed. A warm breeze dances to the rhythm of the sun, gently ebbing and flowing as my eyes adjust to a new day. I slowly rise and begin my morning routine. Peppermint tea followed by coffee and a quick meditation. Nothing fussy, a simple practice to ground myself in the present. There are few places in the world that ask us to slow down. To take a few minutes to appreciate the small, gratifying moments that compose our day. Tulum is one of them. 

It can feel contradictory to exist in a place so photogenic that our natural response is to document every sunrise and lunar cycle. And yet, my phone is the last thing on my mind. This wasn’t always my reality. With time I learned to celebrate these moments in digital silence. In the Caribbean, hours are measured not in minutes but in tides and temazcales (a Mayan practice akin to a sweat lodge), afternoon swims and full moon rituals. 

As we usher in a new decade, creating healthy digital habits to live a more present life means evaluating the relationships we have with our devices. This March, Habitas Tulum will host a series of events by Brick founder and guest speaker Tommy Sobel. Guests will learn simple, everyday methods to develop a healthier relationship to their devices while engaging in Tulum’s natural surroundings.   

Tommy is a digital wellness expert and the founder of Brick, a grassroots movement for those looking to develop positive relationships with screens and social media. Using his background in neuroscience and behavioral conditioning, Tommy developed the Brick Method, a 3-step program to take back conscious control. “Once we acknowledge what our phones are distracting us from, we can understand how to use our devices in a way that serves us.” His retreats offer participants permission to experience phone-free environments, creating a safe space to experience deeper human connection. Tommy Sobel will be leading digital detox workshops at Habitas Tulum from March 12-15th.

Certain locations inevitably lend themselves better to reconnecting with ourselves and this seaside town is an oasis for the conscious traveler. As a digital marketer evaluating my own habits, Tulum’s ancestral Mayan practices and natural wonders allowed me to shift my focus to the here and now while releasing the expectation to always “be on.” Replacing screen time with experiences that produce oxytocin, a chemical hormone that Tommy describes as a key factor in social bonding, sets the stage for true connection. 

Mayan clay ceremonies and sunset sound healings in thousand-year-old caves are special experiences that stimulate us out of our comfort zones. From the jungle to the sea, slowing down and reconnecting is a practice Tulum has mastered.