By Isabel Hamburger |

I’m addicted to my phone. I’ll admit it.

I feel like most people my age, if honest, would agree they are too. 

The first thing we looked for when we arrived at our apartments in Budapest was that sacred Wi-Fi password. In Romania, we were dismayed to find out that while there was some Wi-Fi, it was not up to our usual expectations. 

However, sitting around the dinner table in Romania with eight other study abroad students, I completely forgot I even owned a phone. It’s been so long since I’ve sat and genuinely talked with people during a meal, as we normally are busy texting our parents and friends or showing each other funny pictures and memes from Twitter.   

I found Kalotaszentkirály, a small village in Cluj County, Romania, was all it took for me to realize we don’t need to be bombarded by constant entertainment and distractions to be happy. 

Spending time in Kalotaszentkirály made me appreciate their genuine happiness and connectedness to each other. Though most of the villagers have never typed on a keyboard or answered a cell phone, they thoroughly enjoy their lives and seem to be highly satisfied with what they do. 

The women of the village spend their time cooking, doing dishes, gardening, doing more cooking and doing more dishes. They don’t have a television to watch movies on or smartphones to scroll through Twitter for entertainment when they’re bored. They don’t get to procrastinate, because if they do dinner won’t be on the table. 

We Americans crave a busy life full of distractions and entertainment to keep us from getting bored. Being in this village made me picture a life different from the one I’ve always imagined having. I thought about what my life would be like waking up at dawn to take care of chickens and cows, sewing and embroidering, cooking for hours each day and making my jams and juice by hand. Though I would’ve shuddered at the idea of this lifestyle before, it suddenly didn’t seem so bad.  

I admire the way the village Romanians live, and while I won’t be making dresses by hand anytime soon, I will take some tips from them and live a life with more connection to real people and less connection to the internet.