Himalayan Digital Detox Retreat

Mobile phone technology has become addictive. We are conditioned to compulsively use our phone. Only a small part of our screen-time is productive anymore. Most of us don't realize how much time we waste.

We find no fulfillment from phone use. We never say “I had a great, satisfying day because I spent my whole day scrolling." Quite the opposite, we feel unable to control our behavior. We're compelled to check our phones, even though we know we shouldn’t.

Is your relationship with your phone a toxic, unhappy one? You can change that.

The Digital Detox Program is scientific and research-based. First, it helps you understand why your phone has become addictive. Next, it helps you limit your phone use. The Digital Detox Program is designed and conducted by a team of two. Dr. Vandita Dubey is a US trained Clinical Psychologist, and the author of 'Parenting in the age of Sexposure' (Rupa, 2016). She is supported by Chetan Mahajan, a writing coach who has studied this field extensively.

Digital Detox Jan 2021

Himalayan Digital Detox, January 2021

The preparation starts one week before the actual Detox. For one week you record your online activity on different screens. You then travel to The Quiet Place – a retreat in the Himalayas – and stay there for a week. The Quiet Place is the venue of all events of the Himalayan Writing Retreat, and is Rated 5-star on Trip-advisor. At the start of the week you hand over all your devices. The whole week you indulge in a series of offline activities including cooking, cycling, music, writing and hiking. You do everything without turning on a device.  

In addition to the fun offline stuff, you also do serious work. You analyze your screen habit, understand where it comes from. You define your values and look at how much in sync with your values and aspirations your phone usage is.

You devise a plan on how you intend to reduce your screen time usage. Each participant’s plan is unique based on their individual needs and circumstances, but most people bring phone usage down by 50% or more.

After the Detox, work continues for three weeks until your new habits are well and truly in place.

In the end, you should control your phone – not the other way around.

A detailed break-down of each day of the detox is shared below the 'Sign-up' button.

While on detox, you will have access to the small library at the retreat. You are welcome to play the many board games we have, such as Scrabble, Risk etc. You can also take on more physical pursuits such as Badminton and Basketball (we have a half court).

Note: We don't serve alcohol. You are free to bring your own, but we recommend you bring liquor/ other intoxicants only in moderation.  

The program is open to all individuals capable of traveling alone. You will have access to a feature phone to be in touch with loved ones through the detox. The same team that runs this Detox also runs the Himalayan Writing Retreat events. To read reviews of our programs, click here

Drone shot of the Retreat - venue of the Digital detox

Book Lounge - digital detox himalayas

Meals and sessions happen in this lounge, if not outdoors.

When: Sep. 26 - Oct. 03, 2021.

Where: The Quiet Place, Satkhol Village. Uttarakhand – 263138 (India). This retreat is rated 5-star on both Google and Tripadvisor. Click here for venue photos and travel information. 

How much : INR 39500+ GST ( 7 days, 7 nights, twin-sharing stay).

If you decide to take individual sessions with Dr. Dubey, those will be extra.

Note: Unless the situation changes, we ask that all participants take a Covid RTPCR test 48 hours before arrival. This is for the safety of all participants, and is irrespective of the legal requirements. In case you test positive, we will give you a full refund of your advance payment. We will need a copy of the test report either way. 

Single occupancy is subject to availability at an additional cost of 14k + tax. If single occupancy is a prerequisite (e.g. if you snore loudly, have sleep apnea or talk gibberish in your sleep, then please inform us well in advance.)

How to attend : Pay 50% of the workshop fee to secure your spot. You can pay the balance on arrival at the retreat.

Scroll down to read details of how the digital detox program works.

If you have questions, please call / WhatsApp +91-97176-15666 or email us at chetanyum@hotmail.com  . 

Attention: A few people turn up for tourism because they think this "Seven-night package" is great value for money. Please sign-up for the Detox only if you're serious about it. You will be offline for a week. You will be asked to relook at your values and your life. And you will be pushed to give up old habits and commit to new ones. If this sounds like too much, please visit us as a guest at another time, but skip this program. 

The great outdoors, activities, and nature can reconnect you with a simpler, more meaningful life - without your phone.

Digital Detox - Day-wise schedule

Before arrival

Follow the steps in the pre-work you receive a week ahead of your arrival.

Immediately before arrival, inform everyone that you will be out of touch and inaccessible for the next week. Create the Digital Detox "Out of office" message. The message can go something like this:

"Hello,

Sometimes technology fries our brains. I am at the point where I need to un-fry. 

I will be on a digital detox break for seven days. I will take a break from technology and devices from 4-11 April, 2020. Neither will I be checking email or WhatsApp nor receiving any calls. I'll be off the grid for these seven days. I hope to reconnect with some important aspects of my life which I have been ignoring. 

Please be patient in my absence. Whatever it is, I am sure it can wait.

If your communication / concern cannot wait a week, please get in touch with ________. "

Set up a voicemail / call forwarding on your phone as well on similar lines.

Day 1 (Sunday )

Arrive & turn in your devices. Each participant gets a set of things: a notebook and Pen, books to read, and an analog clock / watch. A couple of old-style non-Wi-Fi digital Cameras are available for those keen on clicking pictures. These Cameras aren’t selfie friendly. One Feature Phone is also available to the group to co-ordinate travel & stay in touch with family (remember to write down the phone numbers of your loved ones).

That evening, The detox kicks off with a documentary film. We'll discusses the film and its implications.

Day 2 (Monday)

Morning session: Dr. Vandita Dubey leads an exercise to help us articulate what we really care about in our lives. We then compare our time-usage with those values / goals.

Dr. Vandita Dubey

Value clarification

In this, we look within and answer basic questions like "what do we care for" we then see how much time we spend on those things. Dr. Vandita Dubey, a US Licensed  Clinical Psychologist leads this activity. She is also the author of "Parenting in the age of sexposure." and leads the Emotional Well being workshop at the Himalayan Writing Retreat.

Journaling

 We learn the nuances of journaling with Dr. Dubey in a separate session.

Evening : Open. Optional forest walk.

Day 3 (Tuesday)

Morning Session: Cycling / Hiking into the Forest reserve.

We will head out on cycles, on foot, or even in a car. The nearby forest reserve is a hundred years old wilderness area full of wildlife. The cycling crew will be led by Rakesh Rana, our resident cycling champion. Rakesh is an expert cyclist and has won many races. 

The Mint wrote about Rakesh Rana -  you can read it here.

Evening : Open. Optional forest walk.

Rakesh Rana

Rakesh Rana - expert cyclist & Coach

Cycling in the forest reserve

Day 4 (Wednesday)

Morning Session: Phone usage analysis. We discuss many aspects of phone usage, and how it can be intrusive and addictive. We talk about the benefits the phone offers, and the problems it has. We learn how to separate the benefits from the problems, and recognize the behavior created by each.

Chetan Mahajan will lead these sessions. Chetan is a writing coach and entrepreneur, and leads the Creative Writing Course at the Himalayan Writing Retreat. A former corporate type, Chetan holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. He has published one book with Penguin, and writes columns for Livemint, Outlook Magazine, Readers Digest, HT Brunch etc.

Evening : Walk in the early evening.  Bonfire + a class on how to do a great Barbeque.

Day 5 (Thursday)

Morning : Baking class with Keith Goyden. Keith is the Founder of the Pão Bakery. He has learnt baking and practiced it over four decades in Bakeries in California, France, Seattle and Portugal. He will spend the morning with us doing a high quality, professional baking workshop. You can learn more about Keith here.

Evening : Phone usage analysis format is handed out and discussed. We follow that up with our second film show and popcorn.


Keith Goyden, founder of Pao bakery

Baking session in progress

Rohit Bhusan A.k.a. Internal eye

Day 6 (Friday)

Morning : Music Jamming session with Rohit Bhushan. Anyone with musical talent is welcome to bring their instruments. We have guitars and a keyboard on site.

Rohit Bhusan is currently based in the Mukteshwar area. A multi-instrumentalist and Music producer, Rohit goes by the name InternalEye. Crafting ambient and electronic soundscapes, InternalEye has always held a deep connection with music. Having gotten his start by playing the guitar in various bands during his early twenties, InternalEye went on to study along side audio engineers, only furthering his skillset and knowledge for producing music.

Evening: Open. Walking / Hiking is always an option. We will also review the phone usage plans and suggest tweaks and improvements

Day 7 (Saturday)

Morning : Hike into Forest Reserve / Up to Mukteshwar

Evening: Your devices are returned to you. As per your phone usage plan, you remove many apps and set time limits on the ones that remain.  

That evening the participants do a farewell Barbeque. They are provided ingredients and the participants do the barbeque independently, without supervision or devices.

Day 8 (Sunday)

You fill out feedback forms, take group photos (including selfies), have a sumptuous breakfast and head back home.

Post Work : Each Participant touches base with HWR team on a weekly basis after the detox for three weeks. We want to ensure that you form new habits and go back to a more satisfying and fulfilling life.

Questions? Call / WhatsApp / Message on Signal  +91-97176-15666 or email chetanyum@hotmail.com . 

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