I wrote last week about the joy of anticipation and planning a trip. Twenty-five years ago I spent two years planning a six month round-the-world trip. I read travel guides and essays, wrote away for brochures and information, telephoned airlines and travel agents and spent hours on the research. I took a class on solo travel and went to lectures by travelers. I joined Hostelling International and Servas, an international hosting organization. To join Servas required a lengthy application with an essay about myself and an interview with a member.
I carried cash to change into foreign currency and joined American Express where I could write personal checks at any of their offices worldwide to obtain more funds. I left a list of cities where friends and family could send mail to me through General Delivery.
At the airport of each country I bought a Lonely Planet Guide Book. It gave all the information needed for that part of the trip. They were heavy so I had to abandon each one as I left the country to move on.
Early this May I started planning a month long trip to Ireland. I booked our flight, car rental and first three nights accommodation online after a few hours of research. We’ll use the road atlas of Ireland but mostly we will be depending on the internet. We’ll get cash in euros or pounds (Northern Ireland) from ATMs. Google Maps will get us from one place to another, We’ll send and receive emails to keep in touch and check the Boston Globe website to keep up with what’s happening in the world. (But, I will not read anything about Donald Trump or the election coverage).
Technology has changed so much of our world but I wonder if it has taken away some of the sense of adventure from travel.