101 things about me

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Back in 'my day' it wasn't this complicated... was it?

I traveled extensively in my 20s. India (briefly) and Africa at the innocent age of 21, followed by countries across 3 continents. I look back and wonder at my bravery. I had a few close calls... and a lot of luck along the way. I certainly never considered myself brave, and truth be told, it was probably more naivete that got me through (and may well have been my salvation)!

And whilst things were not always easier, all in all, they were more simple times.

In those days there were none of the complications of todays techno travel...
I said my farewells at the departures gate, not knowing when I would next speak to my family. 
I had a passport pre-stamped to allow my entry into foreign countries. 
I used a backpack and carried it like a turtle carries it's home - on my back. 
I carried a money belt packed with my airline tickets, travelers cheques, some local currency...
and a swiss army knife!!!
I had a list of post offices where I would collect post... a service referred to as poste restante.
I had a camera and a spare battery.
16 rolls of film in a lead lined bag to protect it from the xray machines.
A dog-eared Lonely Planet filled with circled cheap deals and places to stay.
Adventure waited around every corner.

There was no internet.
No email.
No mobile phones.
No quick way to call for help if the going got tough, or book a hotel from the train before arriving in unfamiliar territory.
Luggage did not come with built in wheels.

As I said, they were simpler times.

This time around, it feels like an exercise in technological warfare.
Passport with electronic chip inserted.
Electronic visa.
Home printed tickets with barcode for electronic check-in.
Mobile phone.
Memory cards.
Credit cards.
Pin numbers.
Cash passport with US currency.
Pin numbers.
ATM card/s.
More pin numbers.

Surely our simple, more advanced life, is actually more complicated than ever? My luggage is going to be chock a block full of cables and electronic goods. And I haven't even started packing yet. And I am definitely suffering from a major case of pin number fatigue.


trash said...

I was thinking something similar the other day, how when Pr. C-W and d/bpy go off travelling I will be in regular contact. Which then leads me to wonder how my mother stayed sane whileI potted around Europe for two years.

trash said...

So many typos i that I cannot even begin to think about correcting them so shall just let them sit.

Hahahahahaha, word ver. is 'beltr'!

Red Hen (dette) said...

And it is expensive!!! While I was in Thailand my children casually text messaged me and rang to tell me 'important stuff', things like I'm locked out of the house-Yes and I'm on a train going from Surat Thani to Hua Hin what would you like me to do? And this cost me something like $250 extra over 12 days!
Mind you the convienece of the ATM card and internet banking is a godsend.
But the cords and chargers are a worry- you have to check and recheck that you haven't left them behind!
Have you considered changing your pin codes to the same one for all of your cards?

Lori ann said...

This is a great post, and oh so true! Times sure have changed, some things good, some not so.