With all the gadgets today it is easier than ever to stay connected no matter where you are. Chances are you stop at any town of any size and you can find a hot spot or internet connection. Cell phones work anywhere in the world unless you are in the middle of the Sahara and they might work there. With all the travel apps, plugins and so forth you can find the nearest toilet, cheapest hotel, closest bus stop and what time the bar opens around the corner. IPads, IPhones, Galaxies, Tablets, Netbooks, Sat phones, Skype, Web conference, the list goes on and on.
I was recently at a small hotel on a beautiful beach. I could wake up up in the morning, walk outside and be within 100 meters of the surf. I remember waking up early one day so I could get a cup of coffee and just relax and watch the sun come up while the beach was nice and quiet before everyone started milling around. As I stepped outside I heard my neighbor next to me talking. I wasn’t eaves dropping but he was outside on his patio on his computer speaking to a group of people on a web conference about work. All I could think of was, poor guy. Here we are in a beautiful place and he is working. I am not talking about the guys you see that run a business on a beach somewhere and have no office. This guy was obviously working in his job wherever it was and couldn’t manage to detach.
I began to notice more and more that people on holiday were attached to their gadgets. While I use a computer to keep up on blog stuff while traveling I try to limit the use. I might spend an hour or so in the evenings getting caught up but I purposely don’t use gadgets during the day. I want to experience travel for what it is, an experience.
Part of the fun is not knowing and not planning every move I make. Too many people look at the places they travel to but they don’t see them. They don’t take time to put down the smart phone, ditch the apps and just experience travel. I have been guilty of it in the past. I used to do the same thing until I realized that by slowing down a little and just exploring an area I could find some amazing things and meet some amazing people.
I have found great places to stay by accident as I was walking past them and just checked them out. I have found great places to eat by asking local workers where a good place was. I found a local pub in Prague run by a woman that said she was a witch and had all kinds of little witch figures hanging up in her bar. It was a little strange but different and I would have never found it following a travel app of best places to eat and drink. Years ago I spent the day in a part of London I couldn’t find again if my life depended on it going from pub to pub. I found a couple of great local pubs and had a blast talking the people that lived there.
The point is, you don’t have to stay wired to the world when you travel. Ditch the gadgets and see what the world has to offer around you.