Travel Now

With the over abundant travel deals, and travel technology, and reasons to go to new places, The definition of traveling has been changed. Some say for the better, and some don’t know what to say. The shear volume of ideas for leaving ones home to see other parts of this earth, have evolved faster then the feeling of exploration. Yes we all can agree that technology is going faster then the masses can keep up. So what's happened to Travel? First lets look at where the travel agents are. For all I know there is only one left, and in there window a big red board sits with it’s ever changing list of places and prices. So when I am walking by I can see the places in this world I have not been. I then usually walk home and look on the numerous web sites to check if I can get a better deal. I would then find myself rummaging around the world wide web searching for information on the destination in question. Wikipedia for the facts, Flickr for visual, Blogs for the laymen’s opinions, Travel Networking sites for the aggressive travelers opinions, Craigslist for underground activities, and if i am really invested i will get a Lonely Planet guidebook. My mind will be so filled with information, I will have forgotten why i am even going. Or did i even know why i was going in the first place? Was it to get away from the life i live? Was it because I want to explore the world to better understand it? What reason do i have to go? Like most things, travel has lost much of it’s meaning because of saturation. It is losing its mystic quality and gaining a Starbucks seal of approval, and the end is sadly the same thing that has happened to mom and pop coffee houses. Local owned cafe’s are on the endangered list, and it all started with the good intention of coffee and community for all. Not all travelers are scared to venture out, not all tour guides are watered down, and not all tourist spots just want your money. It is just getting harder to support the original principle of a trip. This does not mean when i am in a country that doesn’t have the American amenities I am use too, I don’t sneak into the five-star compounds, and enjoy ignorant bliss for a few hours. It’s ironic that the luxury guest believes culture is in the packet they receive at the front desk.
We all share traveling pains and challenges. These days they come in the form of waiting in lines at the airport, or having to try and not look like a fool when you don’t know the language. Pretty soon the Ninendo Wii will come out with a game called The Louvre, and you won’t need to leave your room. Should i open up an agency that takes people on adventures without letting them know where they are going. So that maybe they can find what they are looking for, that feeling of unexpected joy. We’ve come a long way since the explorer Shackleton, known for his Antarctic journey in the early 1900’s. When exploring new places took tremendous courage and some insanity . Being rewarded with glory and purpose.
Some people spend thousands flying to a place to drink with friends in a warm sunny atmosphere where they can get away with a little more because they are across a border. A vacation used to be when we would want to rest and relax, not be told how to rest and relax. I do not think today's travel robs people of their stories , I just don’t want their stories to be prewritten. I would like the opportunity to go to some of those places I’ve never been without having to fight for authenticity. We lose out on the experience not because of the shortcomings of any particular place, but because of the article in the magazine we read on the plane which described it to us before we arrived. I hope that when you head out on that next trip, vacation, getaway, adventure, or visit. You take the initiative to break away from the schedule you made for yourself. I hope you don’t check your e-mail for a few days. I hope you talk to a local about something other then the weather. I hope you see a movie in the language of the place you’re in. But most of all, instead of reading up on the destination, read some fiction, or rent a movie in which the director grew up there, or don’t do anything at all.
John Szarkowski said “ I have visited places described by works of art, and have observed that the poem or picture is likely to seem a faithful document if we get to know it first and the unedited reality afterwards - whereas a new work of art that describes something we had known well is likely to seem as unfamiliar and arbitrary as our own passport photos.”
Don’t let the joy of traveling turn into a gilded cage experience encumbered by vast amounts of information . Try listening to that voice inside your heart when you plan your next trip. That same voice that as a child could turn a park visit into a wild adventure. Because there is nothing more important then having an experience that is indescribable. Safe and Happy Travels.