Enjoying Travel Without the Tech
We take a vacation to escape many things, though I suppose consolidating everything under the cliché of “the Rat Race” is helpful enough. Most us want to escape our day-to-day lives: the hard graft of work, the oppression of familiar surroundings and the burdens of day-to-day responsibility. And when you think about it, the lynchpin of every aspect of our day-to-day life is technology: from our personal gadgetry to our work computers , we’re constantly reliant but subjugated by machines. Read up about holidaying, and you’re rather likely to come across articles extolling the virtues of holidaying with tech (don’t tell anyone, but I may have written a couple myself). But surely, we should be trying to get as far away from anything that forces us back into our day-to-day routines?
We should be holidaying without the tech:
We keep our gadgets around for a reason, presumably. I can definitely say that having a phone around has enhanced my holiday experience, but is it all positive? Here are reasons why you don’t need your computers and other gadgets on holiday:
- They’re expensive. And no, we’re not talking about how much you pay for them in the first place. Roaming data charges are severe, and calls made internationally or to other roaming users aren’t exactly cheap either.
- Oh, and I suppose I am talking about their basic material expense when there’s the very real danger that you’ll get them broken or stolen!
- Gadgets require electricity. In order to get electricity you need to hang around charging things. You also need the right adaptors and power supplies for every country you visit: ;
- Whether you realise it or not, you have a routine with your computing equipment and it’s a time-consuming one. You will waste time on your gadgets that could better be used exploring the place you’ve come all that way to visit;
- The effect is magnified tenfold when you have access to work-emails or you’re the kind of person who does work outside of work hours. Don’t give yourself the excuse!
Back to “Basics”
Despite the fact that electronics can be useful, there still remains the issue of whether they’re entirely necessary. Reading a pro-tech holiday article in the Independent, I’m struck by how many of the points seem to be just a case of “because you can”:
- What great need is there to carry one thousand books on your kindle with you on a two-week holiday? Wouldn’t one, maybe two books suffice? The space difference is negligible, a book doesn’t require recharging and you can read a book when the sun shines on its pages.
- If you can even get your map apps to work abroad without costing you an extortionate amount of money, is the benefit so great? You still need to be able to read a map (on a tiny screen too). Buy a real map of the city, get a real compass and use your brain;
- Reading a map on your phone is just another way to bury your head into your tech without simply exploring and finding something for yourself. Getting lost is part of the fun! Better still: actually interact with the locals, asking them for directions instead of dodging them with your head down;
- Why invest in an electronic burglar alarm when you could just carry fewer expensive electronics that are likely to be stolen?
- Whatever did we do before we could watch entire movies on lightweight tablet computers? Err… we went to the cinema or we just did something else. Just because you have the ability to watch a movie absolutely anywhere, doesn’t mean you should. Those two hours of “convenience” are a failure to vacation properly.