I by no means consider myself a techie. (Since when did cloud not mean white fluffy thing in the sky?) But then I come across a post or article that rants and raves about the cool new apps that will “revolutionize” my travel experiences or the super duper function you can make Siri do (who by the way, I’m still not totally convinced shouldn’t be more appropriately dubbed “Siri-ously needs to listen more carefully to what I’m saying”…because I’m sure it’s her fault and not mine that she can’t-understand-the-words-that-are-coming-out-of-my-mouth) and I start to think things like, “Woohoo, I’m totally going to download that app right now!” And then I reach over and pick up my phone. ::Insert scream of terror here:: “Someone’s stolen my iPhone!” …Oh wait, I don’t have an iPhone. Or an iPad. Heck, my age-old MacBook doesn’t even know how to compute the words “time machine.” Yep, it’s official, in the world of modern technology, I’ve been warped back in time to the age of paper maps and cameras the size and weight of a mammoth (and obviously that means either my camera is insanely huge or I live in a fantastical world in which mammoths are ridiculously small).
Having recently read quite a few “the best technology for travel”-like posts, I’ve started to wonder if maybe I’m at some sort of a disadvantage by not having these cool tech toys.
But here is what I’ve concluded…
I have yet to never be able to find my way back home just because my map doesn’t talk to me. Actually, by not having a yakking map I’ve had far more opportunities to meet the locals (the French are wonderfully helpful when you’re lost by the way) and have random off-the-map adventures (that’s the nice way of saying I was totally lost and just decided to make the most of the situation).
And so far, I have not had any explosions or limb dismemberment because I use a camera and camera battery as old as the dinosaurs. In fact, my pictures seem to turn out just as snazzy as the guy with that neat little S95. (Haha, just kidding. Let’s not lie, few cameras live up to the awesomeness of Canon’s S95 right now.)
And even though my MacBook looks somewhat like a hillbilly with missing teeth, it hasn’t failed me yet—drops, spills, and round the world ventures, and this lil’ fellow is still going strong.
Now lest I sound like a looney just proudly protesting my ability to not succumb to the draws of the latest and greatest technology, let me say that, would it be awesome to be able to slip a sleek iPad into my bag versus calling in the crane to load my computer? Totally. But are these gadgets, apps, etc. required to travel well? Heck no.
…Wait though, I do have to insert a disclaimer here. I do have a “smart phone.” Mind you, it’s the dumbest of smart phones (never ever get the LG Ally), but it’s technically considered “smart” according to Verizon. And the only reason I have it is because some dumb butt stole my beloved dumb phone–and now I’m stuck with a phone that’s so “smart” that it tells me everyday that it’s “brain” is full and it can’t even send a simple text anymore. Bah!…
But all said and done, I’m a realist. I understand that some of these nifty gadgets might add some convenience to my travels and someday I most certainly plan on investing in a few gizmos of my own. (I mean seriously, those Apple commercials totally have me convinced that the iPad, second to old fashioned donuts, is about the coolest thing ever. Tell me what constellation I’m looking at? Hello?! Yes and please!) But 20-some odd years of traveling and so far my tattered maps and monster of a camera and hick of a computer have never hindered my travel experiences and I don’t foresee that they ever will.
…Plus, on the off chance that the post-apocalyptic movies are right and robots do take over the world and we revert back to a time of mere survival, I’ll still know how to read my own map and get the hell-o out of there instead of relying on a computerized voice yelling at me, “Left! Left! Turn left in 20 meters! Turn left now! You have missed the left turn. Recalculating route.”