So things have really changed since I last took to the road with my world on my back..
The world has gotten much more globalized – there are very much less off the beaten track places to reach easily.. Gone are the Internet cafes – I write now on my iPad and with a lightweight waterproof external keyboard and it’s all I need.. In fact it’s ‘very pleasurable to sit looking at the sea with minimal technology between my experience and the words I write about it.. Not too much, not too little..
How easy it is to book hotels, trains, and planes, to navigate with offline google maps when in remote places and data-free on handheld devices, how easy to verify currency exchange rates [XE], to check the most local and accurate weather [Dark Sky]
Last but not least.. Tripadvisor which, in my opinion, is to be navigated somewhat carefully. I have quickly developed a love-hate relationship with the green owl. One starts to be able to easily identify those reviewers who really should probably have never left home in the first place as they sure as hell ain’t what I would call the traveling type – fixed, closed-minded etc.. Its also crucial to look at the dates of those terrible or average reviews.. It’s fascinating to read one and show up at the establishment and find them overcompensating to such a degree to remedy the long ago left criticism.
There is a confident and liberating freedom that comes with being able to google costs and others’ experiences in seconds..
The search for authenticity is still at the core of my travel purists – to connect with the culture, both ancient and modern of where I am exploring and so to this photograph which is from a restaurant we visited in Hue. It kind of represents the Vietnam I thought we would see more of..colonial architecture but actually saw very little of.