Walk into any airport these days and you’re likely to be met with more technology than you have ever seen.
From departure screens and check-in desks, to smartphones and laptops, this increasing clamour for technology has brought many benefits.
But does this insatiable appetite for the latest tech make travelling more or less enjoyable and are gadgets like Go Pros, DSLR cameras and Macbooks dispensable add-ons or a bold leap forward for the ever-demanding 21st century traveller?
Has the time come for us to put down our phones, turn off our cameras and leave our laptops at home? It’ll certainly give us more chance to immerse ourselves in the actual experience, rather then viewing it through a lens…
We all like taking photos of our adventures and posting them online, but is this increasing need for sharing and one-upmanship just becoming a self-perpetuating competition?
This technology-led travelling trend has grown enormously since the advent of social media, with everyone feeling the need to document their daily lives through images, posts and videos.
Whilst the future undoubtedly lies in the palm of your hand – quite literally – and the pace of change gathers momentum, should there be a shift towards more experience-led activities from travellers?
Maybe. But getting there won’t be easy.
In fact, instead of following in the footsteps of the Luddites, we should accept that technology is going to become an even more important part of travelling – especially with the amount of travel-related apps you can download on a handheld device, and recognise it can exist alongside immersive experiences, without inhibiting us from enjoying the moments.
Do you always need to capture that photo, record that video, make that phone call or take that Snapchat/Instagram shot?
I’ve noticed – through my own travels – that living life through a lens is slightly prohibitive, insofar as it restricts your total experience.
And if you live life in that one moment, you may miss other remarkable things that are happening around you.
I was in Como, Italy during the summer with a friend and after walking (hiking) up to the San Maurizio district in the mountains to see the spectacular views from Volta Lighthouse, we both agreed that we could have spent more time digesting the remarkable vistas.
Whilst we did indeed have a stockpile of Instagram-worthy content to roll out during the coming months, we had our DSLRs glued to our faces and both regret not putting the cameras down more often.
If (I mean, when) we return, it’ll be different.
Holding back the flood of technology is now an impossibility at this stage, so what’s required is the further integration and implementation of new technologies to make travel more accessible and ultimately more enjoyable.
We can, however, take brief moments out from the ferocious and aggressive world of social media by turning our phones and cameras off to savour those special moments.
So go on, put down your phone, and just look at what’s in front of you – even if it’s just for a brief moment.
Give it a go. Enjoy!
Let me know what you think: