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The Death of Backpacking

The internet has killed the adventure of backpacking.

 

It was ten years ago when I first jumped on a plane to go exploring the world and at the time there was no such thing as a smart phone and not everyone had wifi connections and some people were still using dial up modems to connect to the internet. So when my plane took off, I had no idea when, where, or how often I would be able to update friends and family about my adventures.

In a lot of ways it was actually really intimidating knowing that I was going off to the wilds of Asia with basically no safety net, but I was no different than the thousands of other adventurous spirits out there looking to discover the world. And one of the best things about that first adventure was hanging out in the random guesthouses in various countries comparing adventures with other travelers from all over the world.

Fast forward ten years, instead of sitting around swapping travel stories with fellow travelers everyone (myself included) are busy updating friends and family back home via social media, email, and even Skype, which on its own is not that bad, but the ability to constantly being able to connect to your digital life has destroyed part of what made traveling so much fun. It has also totally changed the various quirks of traveling as well- gone are the street vendors buying and selling used paperback books, because now everyone either is reading their books on various digital devices or they are not even bothering to read books and just listening to pod casts and audio books on their smart phones/ipods. Also since just about every guesthouse is now expected to have free wifi gone are the days when you could hang out at a restaurant/bar in the afternoon watching a DVD shown on a projection screen or chatting with other travelers about their latest adventures and adding new destinations to your ever expanding list of must see places around the world…

Two runners updating their social media profiles before the Thailand Ultra Marathon race in one of the most remote villages in Northern Thailand.

Two runners updating their social media profiles before the Thailand Ultra Marathon race in one of the most remote villages in Northern Thailand.

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