I love to travel and I love the Internet. The Internet has opened up the world and made it easier to travel. Finding the best price for a flight, where you can simultaneously search 1,521 different sites at once and spit out the perfect way to wing your way to adventure, well that rocks. Being able track down the perfect rental car, ok, maybe the best rental car at the best price, to get you to your adventures, also a bonus.
Selecting a hotel, that is a lot easier too. You can browse photos of the rooms, lobby, bar, fitness area, pool, parking garage, and stock room. Then you can read customer reviews and map the exact distance from the door of your rental car pickup to when your sweet head hits the pillow! You can experience pretty much everything from the safety of your computer screen, short of smelling the tiny bottle of mango/wasabi/moss shampoo in the bathroom (that might be a good thing).
Of course, there are restaurants to map out so you never have to go more than 15 feet without trying some new, wonderful chow! Yelp, and Urban Spoon make every meal/snack/dessert stop an almost certain home run.
Vacation time is a premium, I do understand that, so knowing your hotel is not close to being condemned, not driving a rust bucket on 3 wheels and avoiding a wicked case of food poisoning are all important. I do think all this technology has taken some of the mystery out of travel. Finding that out of the way place with the incredible gelato, the beautiful garden that you stumble upon while on a random walk, the joy of the unknown and discoveries that become memories. Not knowing what the landscape looks like from every conceivable angle of the landmark – well, that’s just fine with me. I want to be surprised, to experience the unexpected, to get lost, to discover…
So, when I set out to travel to lands unknown, I guess I would like some of it to remain unknown until I get there.