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Digitization and travel: Things that made travel less easier

With all those fancy technologies and a blog it is only logical that you might become more of a flashpacker than a backpacker: or as Annika called me, a gadget packer. When I was in Barcelona last May, I was more than ever working on my blog while traveling. My friend had to take pics of me so that I could make Instagram followers jealous.  Uh, I mean, of course, so I could give you a taste of where I am and what I’m experiencing. Backpackers have evolved into gadget packers or tourists think they are backpackers? I don’t know, but one thing I do know is the fact that digitalizing can be handy. Let’s get back to how I experienced travel in 2007, some things have changed …

In touch with home

In 2007, it was rather a luxury to have a smartphone (the Blackberries were just beginning to get popularity amongst other people than businessmen). If I was going on a long trip today than a few things would have been much easier. But you even notice that during short breaks and holidays. Like, secretly I expect wifi in my hotel, hostel or apartment there goes my digital detox. My Nokia 3310 (which is really an indestructible phone) was my mother’s way to get in touch with me. Every few days I send an old-fashioned text message with my location and plans for my mom. So she was always aware of what was going on. I just started to discover Facebook without any friend except for the travelers I met during travelling.

Occasionally I got a text message that my credit was upgraded , so I had no excuse for not texting . Yeah Mom, I’m still alive , I just ran out of credit and the internet was slow and expensive! A smartphone with wifi connection is actually very convenient. How would they have done it like 20 years afo? A good old-fashioned postcard? Love that!

Dramas of Internet cafes


Given in Asia it’s very cheap to get an internetconnection in an internetcafe (wifi in your hotel was back in 2007, not as common, except in Australia ) my travel blog by Aroundtheglobe was at that time a good outcome on a gloomy rainy day. But without pictures because to get pictures from your camera to a computer in an internetcafe is:


1. a drama ;

2. Maybe somewhat unsafe (imagine that you forget to delete your uber sexy bikini photos !)

3. sometimes a daily job (slow and relatively expensive Internet).

Moreover, my blog once was hacked and I suddenly had a strange Muslim layout on my blog . Nehh, though a laptop is a bit heavy to carry while backpacking, I would find it very useful, secretly! Perhaps I will consider it during a long journey? Saving pictures and not have to put them on a CD. Oh and if you want to blog, internet bank on your own computer and bring your favorite series (rainy seasons are booooring), thos are also pros of a laptop or a tablet!

City ​​Maps

In Vietnam, I decided once to get going with a bad citymap (one that does not cover all streets). The distance was not a problem, rather the map being this bad so every motobike driver decided to say exact the same: “looking for a ride?” because I was such ubertouristy (despite my Asian looks, can you believe that?). That sentence from the drivers was one of the most irritating remarks during my trip as well! Today, I’m secretly happy with my offline maps from the App and a satellite connection. But after all, I’d rather use an old citymap which allows me to make notes in New York and which I can crumple and throw in my bag. I love paper citymaps and collect them all.

Paper boarding tickets

Nowadays, you do not have to carry a physical ticket or boarding pass with you which can get lost and you can’t – how convenient- just print again. Back in 2007 I carried a thick envelope with me for half an year full of single tickets. The horror. I obsessively checked my tickets every day if they were still in my backpack. I was terrified that I could not travel, not because I could not go home, it was way too much fun! Love for digital checkins!!

So, are you traveling digitally at all?

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