Traveling and Electronics: How it has Changed in my Eyes

When I went to Australia/NZ in 2004, not many people were carrying personal electronics with them.  Sure, a few people had music players and some had cell phones, but they were pretty basic, texting only.  If you wanted to send an email, you had to find an Internet café or some other location that had Internet access.  I know I went to some pretty shady seeming places to use the Internet to contact home or others.

Internet training taking place in an public in...
Internet Cafe when Travelling in 2004 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fast forward to 2012 and my trip to Thailand.  Everyone had some sort of electronic device and many of the hotels that we stayed in had free Wi-Fi for the guests to use.   There were computers and Internet café’s but not to the degree that I had found years ago.    I think of the two dozen people I travelled with, two had a netbook/laptop, three or four had iPads and probably a half a dozen had a cell phone or a small device.  Personally, I had an iPod with me as I had wanted something that had Wi-Fi access for contacting home.

Overall, I’m not sure if electronics when travelling are good or bad.  You feel a bit more of a slave to them when you have them as you feel that you should go on the Internet and do something.  But, it was also nice to keep in touch with those at home as I was gone a month to Thailand.   If I had only been gone a week, it would be different.    Not only that, but if you were wondering about something you saw, or needed to check further travel plans, it was handy to have access.

One advantage was that it was easy to keep up the appearance of being home.  I didn’t post to my Facebook that I was gone as really, people don’t need to know that.  My nearest and dearest knew that I was gone but those casual acquaintances didn’t.  And I preferred it that way.
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