What’s up there? I hope this finds you doing well. Things are going great here. I have been on tour in Canada for the last couple of weeks. We’ve been having an absolute blast. I can now say I’ve seen the largest mall in North America since I did my Mother’s Day shopping at the West Edmonton Mall. I sure hope Stephanie likes hockey, because they have a BUNCH of hockey stuff up here. No, I think I’m going to get her something with a moose on it.

And the food! I had some ketchup potato chips and a maple doughnut form Tim Horton’s within the first couple of days and thought I was good. But then I went and had poutine, which consists of french fries covered in gravy and cheese curds – what’s not to love? And I’ve now discovered what has become one of my absolute favorite foods: the Montreal sandwich. If you ever get the chance, give it a try. You’re welcome.

I have learned a valuable lesson while up here. I need to put my phone down and live my life. Let me explain…

One thing that has been a little different is that I haven’t been able to get online much. International cell service is really expensive, so I’ve been relying on the old fashioned World Wide Web. And for some reason, that’s been hard to find. It has taken me some getting used to, but I think I’m OK without having to be on the Internet all the time.

I am so used to watching a baseball game and wondering what the score is and immediately being able to look it up. I am also used to being in the middle of a conversation and having a question come up, then instantly finding the answer on my phone. I have been forced to “wonder without Googling”, and while it was a little weird at first, I almost think I like that better.

I even think that when I get back to the States, I’m going to use my phone a little less. Just a little. Here are a few ideas. Maybe they’ll spur you to think of a few of your own:

1. When I’m in a conversation and somebody wonders something, I can just say “I don’t know”. We humans have been just fine with that up to this point. Why do I have to look it up instantly? I don’t. Instead, I can focus on the people I’m with.
2. When I’m waiting on somebody in a restaurant, I don’t have to take out my phone and look at Twitter. I really don’t. I can take in the environment. I can people watch. I can just sit there. It’s OK.
3. When I’m driving in my car and the song or the podcast ends, I don’t have to get my phone out and search for something else to listen to. This is how accidents happen. This is how people die. I can enjoy a few minutes of silence.
4. When I’m with my kids, I can be with my kids. Even if it’s in the middle of the Braves game. I can watch the end of the game later.
5. When I’m in the middle of something and the phone rings, I don’t have to pick it up. Oh wait – I got that one down. I don’t ever pick up my phone. EVER. Unless it’s my wife or daughter. It’s worked for me. You might want to try it!

Don’t get me wrong. The phone is a wonderful thing. The internet is a wonderful thing. We are able to do things that our predecessors only dreamed of. But we don’t have to do them all. the. time.

Canada, eh? Delightful people. Wonderful food. I’ve made some great memories. And I learned a great lesson about that whole internet thing.

See you soon!