Hindustan Times, June 26,2008
Been there, done that, for all to see
There are three distinct changes in travel today: One, you don’t ‘go to grandma’s’ for all holidays, you don’t have to buy extra film roll anymore and you can upload a picture from your mobile to your blog and show-off instantaneously. Today, as much as travel is about seeing the world, it’s also about showing the world.
With every new travel photograph uploaded on social networking sites and more pins on their “where I’ve travelled’ maps, holidaying is now about where you’ve been and how many know about it. For the choice of destination, experts to backpackers, everyone has an experience to sell. If a tour operator like Intrepid Travel promises off-the-beaten-track tours, Bug Bitten offers been-there-done-that travellers’ recommendations on where to go. With more people blogging their experiences, you realize that flight turbulence scares everyone, no one is happy with the service and despite technology, the seats in planes and trains are still uncomfortable. Greg Messon of Greg Messon’s Esoteric Earth writes simply, with much (often lengthy) detail and often echoes other people’s thoughts when he blogs, “I never quite got comfortable in my seat, so sleep never came, however I was at least able to watch 3 movies on my personal entertainment unit…” Or when Chris blogs on The Art of Non-Conformity saying, “It takes a long time to get to Jerusalem from Seattle, especially if you’re planning your trip around the lowest ticket price…”
Through pictures, text and videos, travel blogging is one of the hottest blog topics.And people are finding creative ways of story telling.
One of most popular forwards was the video of Matt Harding, the software engineer who quit his job and traveled the world, dancing before various places and monuments. Freelance illustrator and graphic designer Mike does it through sketches on Blogshank.
From the usual I-did-this-went-there blogs to Cranky Flier who follows every airline development fanatically and the blog Hope and Healing that chronicles the lives of two physicians who’ve been working in Liberia, travel is getting a new dimension. It also makes for open criticism. Tony France rues the end of class in luxury planes, “With their reputation for engineering, I can well believe that, back in the day, Lufthansa had better seats but it was a no-brainer that Air France had better food!”
This column appears every Thursday in The Hindustan Times