Did technology kill the essence of travel?

By default, traveling is often nothing more than a hobby for a lot of people. Aside from those who work in that field, it’s often something we do when we have time off work. A couple of weeks of is just long enough to go and relax somewhere. The possibilities are almost endless and range from a quick weekend camping trip to a luxury cruise around the world. Adventure travel, all-inclusive resorts, group travel, backpacking, hostels are just some of the many different ways people define what makes a “trip”.

The one common denominator though is to get away; to put your “real life” on hold for as long as you want to or for however long your wallet will allow. What does that make technology though? We can ‘check-in’ to Foursquare from the North Pole, tweet from the jungle, Skype from the middle of nowhere and blog from villages that didn’t have electricity 10 years ago. Smartphones allow us to do all these things and more while laptops are smaller and smaller, literally making technology so portable that we have no reason to even think about going offline while we travel.

Some people do need to stay connected, of course, but that doesn’t make for the majority of us. Not all of us are professional bloggers, freelancers or journalists and we could survive without Twitter for a week.

At a time where travel becomes more and more accessible, it really is a non-sense to add ‘Blackberry, iPhone & netbook’ at the top of a list of things to pack and making room for those “essentials” is the 2011 equivalent of insisting to be the one who raises the anchor so that a boat can set sail; it’s unnecessary weight that hold us back and keep us from the freedom we seek when traveling.

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