Mural in Portland, VIC
The Journey, Travel

Travel, Unplugged (64.52%)

WORDPRESS ATE MY BLOG POST!

I wish I could explain it, but somehow my published post from last week has evaporated into thin air. Apologies to those who subscribe to the blog and clicked through to find The Dreaded 404 Error.

Let’s try this again. Travel, Unplugged: 2.0.


Today’s post title is a bit tongue-in-cheek, as very little traveling these days is, in my opinion, “unplugged.” Few of us would dare venture to the supermarket – never mind overseas – without tech in tow.

Nowadays, there is an almost infinite number of ways to document your every move (at the supermarket or overseas). Snapchat. Twitter. Instagram. Facebook. Tumblr. iMessage. FaceTime. Line. Whatsapp. The list goes on… and on… and on.

Is it just me, or is technology making our world smaller?

Don’t get me wrong – technology is great. We can now readily access even the most remote corners of the globe, with unfamiliar sights, smells, sounds, and tastes but a few flights (and a few servings of questionable airline food) away.

On a personal note, I couldn’t imagine (or bear) the pangs of homesickness I’d likely be feeling were it not possible for me to reach for my phone and, within seconds, find myself face-to-face with the people I love and miss most. As inherently social creatures, human beings crave connections – especially with those in our innermost circles. Technology makes this possible at the literal click of a button.

As a simple Google search will show, plenty of bloggers before me (here and here, for example) have done a wonderful job celebrating the many benefits technology offers travellers. Over the last few decades, we’ve taken much of the guesswork out of trip planning: we can now set flight monitors to fly on the cheap, read online reviews before booking an excursion, and take virtual tours when scouting accommodations.

Again, all of this at the literal click of a button. Pretty cool, hey?

Rather than paraphrase these many praises, I’ve decided to throw something a little different into the mix and put up a question for debate:

Is all this change for the better, or are we controlling away our curiosity?

A group of British psychologists discovered that the average young adult spends five hours a day on his or her mobile device. Put another way, that’s approximately one-third of your waking hours. Whoa.

I couldn’t find a study to back me up on this, but it stands to reason that, for smartphones, a holiday would be the equivalent of a dinner rush at a restaurant: full of food, people, stories, and memories. And so we snap. Film. Share. Repeat.

Are the days of wandering aimlessly behind us? Are we too snap-happy to enjoy the view with our eyes instead of a lens? Get the conversation going by sharing your thoughts below!

Special shout-out and thanks to my pal and former housemate Scotty for the post suggestion, which came all the way from the sweet little oceanside town of Shimizu, Japan. I had the opportunity to spend a handful of days in this darling destination (pictured below) back in August; if you’re looking for a peaceful getaway after the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, the Shizuoka Prefecture is where it’s at. If you’re lucky, you just might catch a glimpse of Mt. Fuji, towering above the clouds in all its majestic glory!

Shimizu, Japan

Beautiful Shimizu from above.

Until tomorrow,

J.

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