Budget airlines, MP3 players, same day visa's, digital camera's, guide books X100, the internet, organised tours, prebooked accommadation, fast food...
I think to myself and dream of traveling they way they did in the 70's and 80's. The backpacking scene somewhat "underground", extreme even in some cases and the vision of a real adventure, it had the Wow factor about it and a real sense of achivement too. Its just does'nt seem as pure anymore....
Whether it is or isn't, its an experience, the reason we travel I guess.
How do travellers compare this to todays methods and accessories of traveling...?
[ Edit: Edited on Sep 7, 2008, at 4:46 AM by Seany ]
I know exactly what you mean. I used to backpack Europe years ago, and then just stopped travelling completely for many years due to $. Now that I'm able again, things have changed quite a bit. I went to SE Asia this year, and even the poor places are wired. I don't even own or use a cell/mobile phone (people think I'm really out of it!) I do use the internet, and used it to plan, book and keep in touch during my trip. I found that while Vietnam was quite up to date with electronics, etc., it was nowhere near what we have/use in N. America. Here in the US most younger folks can't drive a car without also talking on their cell. I did not see that in Asia. Here people walk down the street talking on their phones - not in Asia. (I think I like the way it's done in Vietnam much much better!)
I used to think the same. But ...
Travel is apart of Evolution. We are changing too. There are still plenty of places GPS does not have much use. Mobile coverage does not reach and a traveler will rarely see another.
What we see a lot more of these days a re organized groups and agencies, techno kids and the like. With technology we are breaking new travel ground. Without these modern day pioneers we would not be able to book online hostels. We would not be able to search blogs, or ask questions in a place like this. Does that make it easier? Well, as information is becoming more available we are pushing the limits to finding new places. What was not possible ten years ago to the average tourist, is now. Ask the traveler writers from back then as they were writing up the books so many carry today.
And so it will continue. In 25 years people will be saying something similar, and how it was better in the days of the blog, and online booking. Then again a few years back people were saying how much better it was without "the" guide book.
In the mean time if people want some nostalgia, turn off the phone, stop online booking, leave the laptop at home. Throw away the guide book, and head out
Space exploration is a key example, they are already preparing it as the next tourist destination. Wonder if you mobile/gps will work there? It's costly now, but give it 25 years. And then, well, give us out own space craft and then ... well I guess we'll be too busy exploring new worlds after that.
Sometimes I do agree with you. Seems you can't go anywhere on this planet anymore without meeting hordes of fellow travellers.
But on the other hand... I don't travel for a sense of "achievement". I don't travel for bragging rights. I do like to challenge myself, but I don't think I'd particularly enjoy having to challenge myself with every little thing (visas, accommodation booking, etc). Let that remain as easy as it is now (or become even easier!), so that I can concentrate on what really matters to me. Such as for example hiking longer and more remote trails with ever more gorgeous vistas of ever more impressive mountains.
I think travel becomming easier can only be a good thing.