travel technology

Is Technology Hurting How We See the World?

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Blues Highway. The Oregon Trail. The Loneliest Road. Do you know what these things have in common? They’re all destinations in the U.S. Specifically, they’re all famous road trip destinations. You remember road trips, right? Those adventures where you’d hop into a car, grab your map and drive into a gorgeous sunset? If you still remember those, you’re in the minority. This is due to the fact that technology is changing how we see the world.

This is a guest post by travel blogger Kacey Bradley.

Take road trips as an example. No longer are people checking out some of the most popular road trip destinations or hitting the open road by themselves. Instead, the drivers are always equipped with the latest pieces of technology, like a GPS, a cell phone etc. While technology undoubtedly makes your life easier, does it make everything better? Take, for instance, road trips.

Generationally, older folks are actually beginning to embrace technology. However, just because the older generations are adopting the use of technology doesn’t mean it’s better. The older people can still remember what it was like without the aid of technology. They remember the days of the good old-fashioned road trip. But, what makes the older version of the road trip better? And why are they beneficial?


Using a Map

Ah, the map. That sprawling piece of paper that never seemed to end when you unfolded it in the car. All the squiggly lines darting in and out of the browns and greens of the roads. The map was your saving grace. It was your lifeline. Maybe that’s what made the map so alluring. Young drivers wouldn’t know this. According to a survey, 80% of drivers aged 18-30 said they couldn’t use a paper map to navigate on the road. This staggering number should strike some fear into you. However, there is a solution.

travel technology

Force yourself to learn to use an old-school map. If we step back and think about it, just a few years ago there was no way of looking up the directions online, taking virtual tours of the destination, resort or surrounding environment of which you will be encountering. This left a lot of room for impromptu planning and surprises; which were not all bad! In today’s world, people have the opportunity to essentially visit the location by taking 3D tours online, using Google Street View, and by reading online reviews. We are able to build our trip by answering just a few quick questions

For some people, this may ease their mind and help them contemplate less on making the plunge to travel to new locations, but for others it may reveal certain aspects of their trip they wish would have been saved until they actually experienced it.



This particular instance is more suited for a road trip with two or more people, but it can also be modified for the solo adventurer. If you have a group of friends traveling with you, conversation can be a fantastic way to pass the time. Normally, everybody packs into the car and immediately pulls out their cell phones (except the driver). While conversations can still happen, they tend to be sporadic. After 15 minutes, the car is blasting the radio as the friends that are along for the ride sit in silence. Conversation, in general, is a lost art.

When eliminating technology, you’re forced to make your own fun in the car. Once again, you have to become self-reliant if you want to have fun. Sure, you can still play the radio. However, keeping all cell phones in pockets allows you and your friends to really talk. If you’re traveling by yourself, only using your cell phone for emergencies allows you to talk with yourself (either out loud or in your head). You get a chance to get in touch with yourself.


Embracing the Sights and Sounds

Technology can suck up a lot of your time, energy, and resources. On a road trip, your first course of action when starting up the car is to plug in the GPS and put in the coordinates. Once that’s set in, it’s a simple trip from point A to point B. But, where’s the fun in that? Whatever happened to venturing off the beaten path? Technology makes us narrow-minded in this sense. We forget about the sense of spontaneity that can happen on a road trip or an adventure.

travel technology

Without the technology to aid you, the road trip becomes an entity all its own. It’s a living, breathing thing. It can evolve. Maybe you come upon a dusty old trail halfway to your destination. Where does it lead? You don’t know. But, you’re willing to find out. Finding alternate routes and back roads are half the fun in a road trip!

While technology continues to alter our lives, it’s not impossible to break free from its grip. With these simple tips listed above, events such as old fashioned road trips can be done. Try taking a road trip in the near future. Make it a trip without the aid of technology, and you’ll be amazed at the results you get.


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