Unsurprisingly, since I back packed 10 years ago, things have changed. When I set off in 2006, I did not take what was known as a ‘mobile phone’ and relied solely on the guidance of the Lonely Planet.
All you need now is a smart phone and Apps for Hostel World, Booking.com, Trip Advisor, Maps.me and Kayak.com.
I mean, I’m still carrying the LP with me, because I love a bit of highlighting with pens and those little tab things. I hope that neon pens and stickers, might mean I retain knowledge, but since I might as well be called ‘Dory’ I should stop kidding myself and leave these books behind. They don’t even have glossy photos these days! What’s that all about? Are the publishers trying to keep the books a few grams lighter or cut back on the printing costs? Who knows.
Recently I have been converted to the Kindle. ‘Urgh!’ I hear some of you say, ‘But I love the feel of the paper!’ Yes, yes, I too had the same protests, and of course, gifting a great book to a friend is a lovely gesture, or placing it on your bookshelf once it is finished so you feel like an accomplished and well-read individual.
But I don’t feel like that because my bookshelf is full of Self-Help, Spiritual Teachings and books from my child hood, so I look like a lunatic.
Well, let me tell you, the Kindle is fabulous! I highly recommend it! I have a short concentration span and get bored easily, so I can read 6 or so books at one time, it’s like switching the channel on the TV and keeps the kg’s under control.
PLUS, if you are reading questionable titles such as ‘The Ethical Slut’ no one is going to know about it. Yes, I have been reading that book. I reckon old E.L. James author of 50 Shades of Grey propelled sales of the Kindle as older women couldn’t wait to get their hands on a bit of soft porn and keep said book cover away from smirks and sniggers on public transport.
So yes, technology and backpacking. Fascinating stuff, isn’t it?!
It was on my last back packing exodus in 2007 that my boyfriend and I discussed constant emails inviting us to something called ‘Facebook’. The founders of Instagram were probably still foetuses, and Blogs? Were Blogs even a thing in 2007? I mean Blogs feel so over in 2017, but hey ho, you’re reading this so that’s cool 😉
Social media gets a bad rap for a plethora of reasons, but one thing that’s a real bitch is seeing all these fabulous photos of places and on occasion you can be a little disappointed when seen with the naked eye. As the world becomes an increasingly small place, it is so easy to Google images and read articles online that is difficult to visit places without preconceptions.
That’s why I don’t like to share too much or have too many opinions thrown at me about travelling. People will say, do this, go there, don’t bother with that city etc. etc. But what I see with my eyes is different to what someone else will see. Who I meet and interact with will be my experience. Plus the fact, getting lost and stumbling upon new things is half the fun rather than going with a strict itinerary.
Its the fleeting moments, like meeting the eyes of a sweet lady and her smiling back at me, welcoming me and accepting me in her domain gives me a warm feeling in my heart that will never be matched by a well ‘Liked’ social media post.