Do you think travel has changed?
I feel that travel is a completely different experience to what it was when I first started travelling 20 years ago.
I don’t want to sound like an oldie and and mention the “back in my day” phrase, but things were certainly much simpler then, and in a way easier. This is why.
Staying in touch is TOO easy now!
The biggest difference between traveling then and now is how easy it is to now keep in touch with friends and family; infact, I think it’s actually harder not to keep in touch! At least when I first started travelling I had a good reason for not communicating with people back home. These days, you have multiple options, so there are no excuses! For instance “back in the day” we relied on either costly phone calls at the phone booth, or Poste Restante.
I heart Post Restante! It was a more exciting way to keep in touch. Prior to leaving for a trip I would write down all the names of the towns that I intended to visit, and when, and then give these to family and friends.
This would mean that when I would arrive in a town, I would have letters waiting for me at the local Post Office. It was quite the exciting time rummaging through piles and piles of letters with other travellers doing the same thing. Yep, “those were the days” of phone calls from a booth and Post Restante.
Want to keep in touch these days?
Fast forward 15-20 years later. Whilst you are on your trip you would like to speak to someone from home – what do you do? Well you can call them from your mobile phone; or you can always Skype them! What about if you don’t want to speak to them, but want to remain in contact? Then there’s texting or e-mailing!
Today there are even more ways of keeping in contact with friends – such as with social media! Log into your Facebook account to provide instant status reports of your trip or maybe “tweet” a little on Twitter. Heck, you can even just maintain a blog so you don’t have to keep repeating your days’ activities to multiple people.
Lets face it, friends and family are going to hear alot more from you now, then they would have done if you had been travelling ten to twenty years ago!
In a Bubble
It was during a recent stay at a hostel that it really struck me how things have changed. Gone are the days where travelers would chat around the table, or around a bonfire. Now everyone is glued to their laptops in their own bubble. It is almost comical to witness!
Disposables, not Pixels
Photography was enjoyed by many by utilising disposable cameras. Digital Photography was a complete rarity. Although the pictures were not instant with the disposables, there was a certain kind of excitement and anticipation from getting your photos developed at the local camera store
Our thoughts and feelings were most likely to be recorded in a thick heavy diary. Now? Well, we will just go to our blogging account and record them there. No heavy diary required.
Lonely planet was our Bible. It was our guide to the do’s and don’ts and on where to stay. We would seek advice from the Lonely Planet Thorntree forum prior to our departure. In between trips we would be watching repeats of the Lonely Planet TV series and enjoying Ian Wright’s amazing sense of humour.
It is alot easier to travel these days, but there was something very authentic and endearing travelling a couple of decades ago.