Although Google Maps & Apple Maps reign supreme as navigation app favourites while travelling in the digital age – occasionally a paper map regains its usefulness. A lot of things have changed for travellers since the inception of the internet. There is now an online app for just about any leg of the trip, from booking your flights, boarding the plane, arranging transport to your accommodation, and that’s just the start. Once you’re at your destination, the internet guides you to where you’ll eat out, how to navigate the grid of the locale, and connecting with others who you meet along the way. Through the work of algorithms, our travel dreams are often already planned out for us before we even touch down in the new location.
Useful apps when travelling include:
- Google Maps
- Google Translate
- Airline Mobile Apps
- Local Transit maps
- Online banking apps
- Google Flights
- XE Currency
Based on your own searches leading up to your trip, your personal device logs most of what you appear to be interested in, based on keywords and data collection. Your travel experience might vary wildly differently from the traveller next to you, not necessarily by fate, but entirely by pre-programmed technology. These are ways that most of the biggest social networks point you in the direction that your personal device calculates and fine tunes to suit you. There are sure to be ground-breaking positives and inevitable negatives to this style of travel. An issue could be found in the way that someone raised and dependant on the smartphone and Instagram era of travelling will get by in a foreign country if their technology were to ever fail them, for example. The following source, is a traveller from a previous generation of adventuring, where standards of comfort, communication and overall experience were much different.
Aran McCormick, a fourty four year old traveller from Calgary, Alberta, toured Canada and the world in his young age without the internet at all. He used paper maps, often covered in plastic bags, to protect the paper from the rain when travelling, and was never able to communicate with his parents on a regular basis. So short on money, he resorted to sleeping in a tent while trekking across Canada. While living his nomadic lifestyle, he took on odd jobs in towns in the far north of Canada and could only call home by collect every month or so to let his family know he was still alive. He eventually ended up on the east coast and his story was picked up by a Newfoundland paper in the summer of 1996.
Aran went on to travel across Ireland, England, Scotland and France by bicycle and later returned again to Canada to travel across the country. This traveling eventually led to approximately ten total cross-Canada trips, all by varying means of transportation. His wide array of travel mileage was completed all without a cellphone, internet connection and any apps that make travelling in 2018 so much easier and safer.
Link to Vimeo video: