” I think the 21st centuries advances in technology in regards to travel have done great things, but have also severely disconnected us from what travel is all about” – Ashley Crowther from crowthercollective.com
I am guilty as I write this too. In the past, whenever I arrive in a local travel destination, what I would do the first thing is to get my phone and try to look for a strong 3G or HSDPA connection – just so I can check in to Facebook, post something in Instagram and tell my friends that Im happily soaking under the sun. In the past, I would book a hotel because it has Wifi, hot shower or a videoke bar. I would spent a great time taking pictures of absolutely everything for the mere purpose of having something to post in Facebook/Instagram – a great cover photo, a potential cute profile pic or something I can tag under #travel in IG. In doing so, it has indeed disconnected me from what travel is all about.
There were even times that I would spend my time sitting with my phone in hand, busy replying and chatting with friends from social network, ignoring a beautiful sunset or a cheerful local offering fresh fish for dinner.
Sometimes, I would be so into being active in the social networking world that I lose the true purpose of travelling – self discovery. Its only now that I completely realized how futile travelling became when our only purpose why we do it is for the sake of looking “cool“.
Ironically, some travelers I know will complain about how a specific island has become “overly developed”, but they are the same travelers who, can never live without their precious iPhones and coffee lattes. They are the same ones who complain when the WiFi has poor signal, when their hotel blankets are too thin or when the resort menu is too limited for their preferences. They are the same ones who complain that the resort is too old, the locals too confusing and the mobile signal is a crap. They didnt realized that the reason why an island has been “overly developed” is because of travelers like them. Resort owners will then spend money developing an island exactly what they wanted – modern.
Now, Im not saying that technology has extremely ruined the exact purpose of travelling. Back in the 60’s, the first travelers were hippies searching for enlightenment or a greater purpose in life, they found many areas of the world that had been forgotten or simply not discovered. And it was also technology who able them to share this discoveries to the world. I wont be able to go to places that Ive been if not without the power or internet and blogging. I continually search for places that I want to go with the help of the travelers who have been there before and shared what they discovered.
My plea is simple. When you go out there, go and have GENUINE FUN. Find yourself as you get lost between tall trees or crashing waves. Be a traveler and not just a tourist. Share these moments with loved ones and friends. Take pictures because you want to share your experience, make time stand still and exhibit the beauty of the place. Thank the resort owners who, amidst the demand of growing tourism, is working real hard to preserve the beauty of our environment. Be kind to the locals. And please DO NOT overly exposed starfishes without water just because you want to take pictures of them in your hands.