Travel without a smart phone #ConvoStarter ConversationstarterthumbnailRecently, I was having a juicy conversation with a friend about the use of smart phones while traveling. We agreed. They certainly make life easier. But they also take a lot of flavor out of travel, too. I asked him to write about his thoughts on the topic for this month’s installment of my Conversation Starter series. This is what Kyle had to say.

source site “I don’t use my smart phone very often while traveling and here’s why.

omprare viagra generico consegna rapida a Venezia First off, I grew up camping with my family, and that’s like belonging to a traveling circus. Canvas tents and gear spilling out of every compartment in our car as we make home in another new park or forest. Then it was running around looking at and meeting every other kid in the campground or investigating others’ campsites. Being an explorer, asking questions of others, and finding out about our new surroundings became an integral part of each day. It was all about forging connections with those right in front of me. Learning an ease of the give-and-take interactions with strangers. I loved it.

generic 20 mg levitra Years later, at 23 years old, I flew to Europe with a general plan to experience the new and the different. I landed in London, and stayed the first night in a youth hostel in Holland Park because a cute Canadian girl on the plane clued me into the fantastic youth hostel system in England. Two days later, I had bought a used motorcycle and traveled around Europe for the next three months using the youth hostel system and without smart phone in sight. The hospitality of many locals blew me away. Sometimes when I had only stopped to ask a question I ended up with an invitation for dinner or a place to sleep that night.

here My upbringing and life experiences had both prepared me and habituated me to keeping my head up, being curious, and engaging strangers or locals in the process of exploring new places or solving problems. From that ad-hoc approach, memorable travel stories were born. Countless times I pulled my motorcycle over on a country road to ask a farmer for directions. I would see detail like the worn tweed collar of his coat and feel his warmth (or brusqueness) in how he dealt with me. I felt the uneven peat field under my feet and maybe saw him leaning with fatigue against the stone wall his great-grandfather laid out a century ago, while his dog lay nearby with his muddy paws. Many good conversations have started this way resulting in an invitation to something spectacular like the best freshly caught mackerel and baked potatoes pulled from his field the previous day. Had I used my GPS, I would have arrived at the youth hostel hours earlier. But is that what I was in Ireland for? Smart phones can make travel efficient, seamless, and comfortable. But they also make it sterile. I find that a smart phone becomes another extension of trying to manage everything to my expectations of comfort, convenience, and predictability that I have at home – the antithesis of spontaneity and discovery.

A smart phone mutes my ability to see and assimilate what’s around me because it both takes my attention away from the flow of uninterrupted experience, and it continually calls to me to record video, double-check, not miss anything happening at home, keep up with any big news, search for things to see locally, and…and….YIKES!

I find myself with my face in a screen, traveling but not seeing and experiencing. Instead, I’m trying to orchestrate “THE PERFECT TRIP” while missing the adventure I am actually on.

For me, traveling, like life, is about being open to the day-to-day moments of the culture, environment, and people around me, while slowly forging my connection to it all so that eventually I feel at home wherever I am. A smart phone can keep me head-down, mired in monitoring my own little world while real substance streams by around me.” So here’s where you come in! What are your views on traveling with a smart phone? Would you dare traveling without yours?


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