What exactly is at the core of the global ”pop” culture. Millions of people are now working, studying or living abroad. What is being created from the potentially rich and diverse cultural knowledge, taken from these experiences?
Does this layout look familiar?
Emerging from the web are mass amounts of reproduced tips and advice, created to inspire your future adventures. The posts designed to give you a better travel experience are taking out some of the elements that make traveling one of the most fulfilling experiences. The uncertainty, spontaneousness and needing to interact with locals.
Deep global insight or just a new trend of a culture obsessed generation?
There is an abundance of documentaries about far away cultures, posts about travel and easy to access far away destinations. It is not that tips and advice are not useful, they can indeed be very helpful. What is suggested is that the global society may be changing traveling, taking away the elements that once made the journey special and the experiences that came with being in new environments.
”We’re mostly as ethnocentric as we’ve always been, even if the trappings of our everyday life are more connected and cosmopolitan.”[i] – Joseph Shaules
There is nothing wrong with loving blogs, travel tips and pre-planning online. It is not an intercultural “lie”, but the danger comes from losing local interactions, the elements that once made travel special and over simplifying and minimalizing the new cultures.
Watching a documentary or seeing an infographic does not give you the same knowledge and insight that comes with the experience of unplanned traveling and navigating across cultures with locals.
“And assuming that we understand something that we don’t is a trap we can easily fall into. Beware of those who insist too vehemently that they can get along with anyone in any country since ‘People are just people.’”[i]– Joseph Shaules
We are traveling further but distancing the human interaction and connections. It is easier to watch something than interact with someone. Be curious from a distance instead but not be actively involved.
We need to continue to value the enriching experiences of the spontaneous and diverse encounters. Not seeing them as a right or wrong way but vastly different than the lives we live.
Integrating the elements back into your journey
Keep the mindset of a traveler’s spontaneity by creating new experiences in your routine daily life.
- Take a different route to your destination
- Go for a walk in a new place
- Cook something unusual
- Disconnect from the online world and experience the solitude.
Think about the goals of your next trip, how necessary is a detailed and packed schedule?
- Leave room for spontaneous adventures and rest time.
- Don’t forget about local and personal connections
- Only research what is “needed” to know and leave room for exploration
Never turn down a good opportunity that is not on your “list”
Lists and pre searching are great but do not fulfill the need for the risk of going on a spontaneous adventure. Connect with locals in your destinations and meet new people. Live in the moment and do not see the world through your screen.
For many, an all-inclusive resort is as adventurous a vacation as needed. For others there is an urge to take off and adventure in new territory. There is nothing wrong with either, they merely produce a different set of experiences.
If you have not tried disconnecting from the world, daily routines and comfort, meeting locals and experiencing new cultures, you are indeed missing out on one of lives most fulfilling adventures.
Written by Emily Auvinen