I read the blog post of Alexandra Turney recently about how travel seems to be losing its wonder. I think we have about commented enough about the millenials’ lust for becoming digital nomads, dropping everything to travel the world. More than anything, we too have identified some of the points Alexandra shared in her post:
- the ease of travel today is a result of progress made by society, earlier generations’ contribution that we have today the seeming ability to live moments in Europe and the next in Asia, then…guilty as charged.
- travel or more precisely tourism without context of history (we have less of culture and arts here on this blog) mixed into the journey is often less impactful on generating memories. We like to mix in a little of that in our writings. Why do you even want to journey to a place far from home?
- and that memories is what we are building as we travel, a very personal endeavour. One which we (Mel and Suan) hope to build jointly as we grow old together. So we’d have things to talk about when we lose our teeth.
We’ve had a surgeon friend in San Diego telling us how many countries he’d visited. Then there is the pair of physicians buddies (how come all doctors??) that shares how they dote on their 4-year old daughter taking her to luxury resorts all around the world (ok, Asia only for now).
Some may think this is like a contest of who had collected the most baseball cards. In my case, football (ie soccer) cards.
When I was little, I used to collect these playing cards that were modelled on themes such as fighter jets, warships, old trains etc. The idea was to deal the cards and call out an attribute of the locomotive – top speed (for example) against the other players.
If you collected a “star card” – ie the one with the best set of attributes, you can likely beat the rest and win all the cards! Managing to collect many sets of these cards was considered a bragging right. Fast forward and we have similar cards for soccer players, fantasy avatars, online or offline you name it. I am sure this resonates with some readers.
Today the ease of travel as Alexandra points out means that it is extremely accessible for the casual tourist to experience the same thing a serious traveller (as if there was such a thing) would.
And there are some out there who would really like to “distinguish” between traveling and vacationing. Apparently being a digital nomad achieves some badge of honour…There are those that claim that this builds character and adept intercultural skills. I wonder, if it takes someone years on the road traveling in order to build such skills interacting and working with diverse cultures and the unfamiliar, is exaggerated? I would not be too impressed, putting on my hat as an employer.
This constant comparing of where we’ve been or how many countries we’ve touched has set off a whole new trend in tourism. To us it’s called experiential travel. As bragging rights of about “being there, done that” fades for the destinations that WERE exotic, folks start to yearn for the elusive. That cruise and landing on Antarctica, the polar ice breaking cruise or being shot into sub-orbital space anyone?
The rise of travel to the off off off the beaten track has begun. Has travel become a card collecting exercise for you to gain bragging rights?