The world is your oyster
Our news is no longer solely sourced from 6pm news.
Our favourite recipes don’t necessarily come from the recipes of famous chefs or Gourmet Traveller.
And our travel advice is decreasingly obtained from Lonely Planet books or Getaway.
The experience of travelling is no long an individual experience or an experience shared with a limited group of people. There is an entire travelling global community sharing their experiences via their blogs and websites revealing authentic wonders of the world and steering away from the beaten tourist track.
Tripadvisor provides a hub for travellers to gather online and to give feedback on their favourite must-sees, eats, drinks and accommodation as well as engage in interactive forums.
For me, my travel blogging is a therapeutic experience. I currently have a severe case of the travel bug. And in order to relieve my travel cravings, I prescribed myself a day a week to reminisce and re-live my experiences through my blog. My latest chronicles have been those of my recent travels across the USA in May/June this year, check out the California series parts one, two, three and four.
Not only is the online realm a platform by which we, as avid travellers can share our experiences to our fellow travelling friends, the diverse selection of travel-related apps further assist us to travel better.
World Customs & Cultures: Know when it’s appropriate to give the peace sign or shake a persons’ hand with this useful app. It’ll save you from that awkward moment when you should have bowed rather than gone in for a fist pump.
iTranslate Voice 2: Supporting over 80 languages and dialects, iTranslate has voice-to-text and voice-to voice capabilities to allow you to mingle with the locals with ease.
PackPoint: Forget writing long lists and brainstorming everything you need, this nifty little app has you covered! Based on the weather at your destination, the activities you’ll be undertaking and the duration of your time abroad, PackPoint will list everything you should include in your bag.
Uber: A funky alternative to get around a foreign city, this transport service works by simply dropping a pin and within minutes you’ll have an Uber driver pick you up. It’s cheaper than your average cab fare…and some of the drivers provide snacks. It’s a win win.
These fantastic technologies to share and assist our travels in the palm of our hands are like a double edged sword. Does exceesive use ruin the experience and the very fundamentals of travelling?
Like watching a movie, you don’t want to spoil the ending or the climax. The same principle goes with travelling. If you know all the ins and outs of your trip and have planned every day meticulously down to the next train schedule, where’s the fun in it?
While language apps like iTranslate get us out of sticky situations and Google Maps gets us to the places we want to be with the click of a button, there has to be a point in your travels when you ditch your phone. Hide it deep within your backpack, dare to take a wrong turn, you’ll never know what exciting things you may discover…then you can blog about it when you get back to your home country!
Or you can fake it like Zilla Van Den Born.