Unplugged Travel

Or, as Lonely Planet announced without apparent irony in a headline article, How to go OFF THE GRID when you TRAVEL. Full of wonderful advice about leaving your devices at home, reading books, writing letters, using paper maps, talking to people instead of listening to your music, taking film for your camera, etc. Who would have thought. Maybe people could print a copy of the article to take with them when they go.

Putting sarcasm aside, the idea of reminding us (them?) that travel can actually be about the experience and the importance of being in the moment rather than a series of selfies or photo ops, is worthy of discussion for sure. But the article reads like a serious ‘how to’ guide, with all the authority of LP to help hapless souls find their way in this addicted always-connected world.

Now, as a surviving dinosaur from the Poste Restante era, who went travelling four decades ago without a camera, for almost a year, I must have anticipated this full circle in the art of travel. And I got my comeuppance, with no proof of experience or images to prompt an ailing memory. But tant pis, as the French would say, too bad. I’ve literally a few photos taken by others (like below). Apparently early memory gets sharper as you get really old, so maybe I’m in for nostalgic treats later on. Oh yeah, the last two words are carefully chosen.

POH walking Toradja

POH & funeral stuff Rantepao


  1. You didn’t take a camera? I suppose the film would have been hard to get. I remember that trip.Also today everyone has a credit card! what about travelers cheques. Remember them???

  2. It was really a super-minimalist approach to taking almost no stuff – no backpack. And also a philosophical idea about living the moment without a lens. Yeah indeed, all my money for the year away was in small denomination USD traveller cheques.

  3. Good thinking BM, did you think I was born like this! Come to think of it, maybe I was. But I will retain your wisdom about us all being young once. Hmm.

Leave a Reply to bernardmerckx Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s