In preparation for my CUK trip (Croatia and the United Kingdom) I am starting to think about what to pack, mentally listing the summer dresses I will take to Croatia and the layers I will take to the UK even though its summer. Which shoes would be most appropriate, should I bother taking presents, if I take exercise gear will I actually use it, etc. Then I had the thought – what about my computer?
There are several great reasons why I should take it… but for every reason I have another perfectly good reason not to take it:
Amusement on the plane – they have mini TV’s
Amusement when in airport waiting lounge – read a book
Communicating with home – postcards sufficed on my last trips, what’s changed? Or internet cafes…
Can check/edit my images as I go – will I have time, seriously! do it when you get home and re-live the trip then!
So I thought, probably best I leave it home especially as if it gets stolen or broken I would be heart broken, I can just take my phone… then I thought – why? Do I really need it?
In case of emergencies – in today’s technologically advanced world I am sure I can find someone’s phone to borrow in an EMERGENCY
Home calling me in an emergency – with email and Facebook there are enough ways to get in contact with me… those internet cafes coming in handy again.
Calling accommodation – PAY-PHONES are not extinct yet!
Updating Facebook status – I am sure the world can do with a few weeks of no updates from me… maybe…
Google Maps – there is this thing called a Map that is not on the internet
Winning arguments with know-it-all fellow travellers – the smart phone is ruining the pub debate enough as it is.
Conclusion: No technology is coming with me.
I hold with Einstein’s, technology advancement has led us to become dependent, but it is not in the physical sense that this worries me but what it is doing to our logical and rational thinking. Some of the core travel philosophies and moments are being eroded away by technology.
Getting lost – nothing better than wandering the back streets of strange city in search of a particular (yet hard to find) restaurant that sells the best cakes/coffee/goulash/tapas/pho/BBQ/Cocktails, seeing the barebones of the city up close and personal. Then the moment of satisfaction when you walk round the corner just as you are about to give up, and there it is – the place you were searching for – and I bet that the pie/home brewed cider/pizza/Tom Yum Soup/dumpling tastes so much better because of that feeling. Would it have tasted as good if you had Google Mapped your way there and found the place straight away?
Hidden Gems – On your way out for the evening you stop and chat to the local hostel/hotel/BnB owner asking for a recommendation for dinner. He tells you about this great little place, where all the locals go – has the most amazing authentic food! Excited you head out, get lost, find yourself and arrive at the “hidden gem” only to find it jammed backed with tourists – they all read about it on Trip Advisor. Worst of all the food no longer has the authentic ring having been westernised just a little to meet the growing trades taste. (I do love trip Advisor… but sometimes I wish the WWW Zigat was a little less detailed)
Postcards – hunting down the perfect post card and coupling it with the perfect 50 word anecdote is half the fun, the other half is arriving home and seeing all the post cards you sent littered around your friends and families homes. In the age of Email and the Facebook status the post card is slowly being eroded.
The Epic Tale – Arriving home to the feeling of the familiar a feeling that only lasts a short while before you are dreaming of your past adventure every night. A small way to re-connect with your experience is to re-count those epic moments over a beer or coffee to your loved ones. Yet, you hit a snag, you have just started to tell the story of how you were snowed in, desperately trying to work out how to get to Queenstown, using your brains, your charm and your daring – the story is building momentum… and then you are interrupted “Yes I remember your email about it – good on you!” or “Yeah I saw the photos you posted – looked great!” and then the not very subtle subject change happens and you are left hanging…
Next time you are thinking of packing your computer, iPad or phone – stop and think, what am I losing by taking this, and is it really worth the gain of a little convenience…