A few months back, facebook, instagram, snapchat and most other social media avenues were awash with friends posting pictures and updates while on flights. “So happy to be able to make plans even before I land”, one friend gleefully posted. The introduction of free wi-fi on flights was making everyone giddy with happiness. For me, it was one of the darkest days of my life and I seriously considered travelling only by sea in the future. Assuming that free wi-fi is not available on ships of course. Is it? What about trains? I went around with a dark cloud hanging over my head and muttering dire warnings on how, we as a race, are hurtling towards our own doom. Why was I hankering for the Dark Ages of Technology, you ask? Well, here’s why…
I apparently took my first flight when I was 45 days old, an event which has no place in my conscious memory. What I do remember, are trips from the age of five onwards, or maybe a bit earlier, and the overwhelming emotion of excitement. Not just impatient excitement to get to the destination, but anticipation of the journey itself. The freedom of having time to just read, sketch, write; with nothing else to be done. The freedom of hav
ing my family completely to myself with no interruptions. Shopping for last minute supplies with my mom, playing made-up games with my brother and having long meandering discussions with my dad.The break from eating regular meals at regular meal times, and snacking without thought, was a treat. We actually had my mom giving us the very snacks that were not allowed at home. In fact, finding an unexpected book or trinket at the travel bookstore only increased this joy multi-fold.
Obviously, not having
as much access through mobile phones and the internet played a big part in this feeling of being secluded. Today, because of our endless connectivity (is that grammatically correct?) or despite it, I’m not sure which, my yearning to travel has become an unquenchable constant. Though I love visiting new places, and my desire to see the entire world (pipe dream?), along with my strong dislike for routine, has always been the driving force behind my need to travel; now the actual journey has become as precious as the destination. What was enjoyable before, a prelude to all the fun expected at the new destination and a slight extension of the holiday feeling, on the return journey, has become a treat all by itself. I’ve started to cherish the feeling of being cut-off, of being able to put my phone on ‘Airplane Mode’ and not having access to the internet. If I have my family with me, it’s an ideal scenario as I can comfortably enjoy the time when I’m inaccessible, to the rest of the world, with no worry.
So now you see, why I’m terrified of the promise of eternal uninterrupted connectivity? So now anyone can reach you at anytime and most importantly, anywhere. There’s no place in the real world you can go to escape the virtual world. In addition there’s the fear of crazy teenagers and 40 year-old girl gangs indulging in 6 hour selfie sessions with outfit changes!
So, how tough do you think it is to live in the Amazon jungles? Any tips on keeping books mildew free out there?
Stay Happy Everyday