The Changing Face of Travel
In this post I’m exploring the changing face of travel.
It’s been wonderful writing my blogs, re-living all of my memories. When I did my 1st round the world trip in 1993 there were no mobile phones, no e-mail, no internet, no Google. You were armed with a book ‘Lonely Planet on a Shoestring’. You turned up somewhere and wandered around looking for a place to sleep. Now 138 countries later I’m still travelling.
If someone wanted to contact you, you had to try to figure out where you would be in a few weeks, find a post office address and get them to send a letter. It may arrive or you may have already left or you might have changed your plans.
The Pros & Cons of the Changes
It’s so easy now and there are pros and cons for both. I wish I’d been able to keep in contract with some of the amazing people I met when I was first travelling.
It was much more of an adventure back in 1993 and also places were unspoiled. I’ll never again go to a place where they’ve never seen a white person. Where they want to touch me to see if I’m real or have old ladies stroking the blond hairs on my arms, or frightening old men because they think I’m their ancestors coming from the forests to haunt them.
There was also more spontaneity. If you got on the wrong bus you went somewhere else. You had a plan but you’d meet someone who’d just been somewhere fantastic or was going somewhere fantastic and everything would change.
Now everything tends to be pre-booked. It’s good and bad. I think it’s great that I can book a room in a hostel in Tonga. I remember turning up a hostel in Quito I’d heard about to find it was full. I was wandering around at midnight trying to find a place to stay. Even the hostels had armed guards and there was an air of tension. On the flip side I also found some really hidden gems that weren’t in any of the guide books. Of course, TripAdvisor didn’t exist.
I’m glad I saw both sides. It’s nice to have a bit more luxury now. My 1st room in Thailand had a bed on the floor with an inch gap to each wall and a 2 inch gap at the top, now hostels have swimming pools and spas, I like that. Won’t go into some of the toilets I’ve experienced – you learn to breathe through your mouth and not your nose.
To The Future
I’ve had some amazing times, seen some amazing sights, met some incredible people and the experiences I’ve had I’ll always remember. It’s also been really nice being able to share some and I hope you don’t think I’m being self-indulgent. I just want to share with people, make them laugh and make them want to travel. There is so much to see and experience with. Do it now. Don’t wait for retirement or make excuses, go out and explore. Happy travels!